KC school wins fight to stay open

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A Kansas City charter is given new life, thanks to a judge’s ruling. A judge ruled Monday that the State Board of Education’s decision not to renew Gordon Parks Elementary’s Charter was “unlawful” and therefore not enforceable. That means Gordon Parks can reopen its school doors this fall.

In his ruling, the judge basically said that the Board of Education stacked the deck against Gordon Parks when it voted to shut down the school without letting the school defend its record. Now that the judge has agreed, Gordon Parks says it plans to reopen starting Aug. 21.

But Gordon Parks School Board President Doug Curry hopes the good news will last. He sent a letter to the Missouri Board of Education urging them not to appeal the judge’s decision.

“An appeal would prolong damaging uncertainty for our children who already live in a world of chaos,” he said, “it is our children who would suffer from continuing legal disputes.”

Curry says Gordon Parks will reopen with grades K-2 and eventually get back up to K-5.

But Curry says it will take some time to recover from this legal dispute which cost the school as much as half a million dollars.

“Those are funds we would have rather directed to the children who need it,” he said.

Parent Celestria Gilyard is elated the school bell will ring at Gordon Parks this fall.

“I’m very very happy, very happy, I know it’s a good school and my son will get a good start,”said Gilyard.

She plans to send her son James to Kindergarten there, after her son TreVon’s positive experience, he just graduated from fifth grade.

“They started teaching me stuff I didn't know and I asked for help and teachers actually helped me,” TreVon said.

“It enriched my son,” said Celestria, “gave him good self esteem.”

Gordon Parks says it’s ready to start enrolling kids now and also ready to return their focus to educating the children.

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