Bright Ideas Charter School Fighting to Stay Open

The fight to keep the doors open at Bright Ideas Charter School continues.

"We didn't do anything wrong," Lynda Plummer, Dean of Bright Ideas Charter School said.

However, state regulations show otherwise.  For the past three years the school has failed the financial accountability ratings. 

She said, "One of the indicators was that you had to have investments that would equal about $300,000."

Plummer explained that indicator could never be met because the school does not have that kind of money.  One parent explained the school does have investments, the kids.  However, the Texas Education Agency said there were other indicators they failed.

This is why two representatives from the TEA were on campus on Friday to inform parents, staff members, and board members about their options if the charter school in Wichita Falls closes.

"Our whole deal is we don't want anyone to be caught by surprise," Ron Rowell, Director of School Governance for TEA said.

Officials said schools haven't informed anyone until the last minute and they didn't want that to be the case at Bright Ideas. 

"I really feel like the school has been very open and very honest about things that are going on," Amber Morriss said, "They really allowed parents to come in and ask any questions that they have and that's great.

Morriss has four children who attend the charter school and she said it has made a huge difference in her children's education. 

It has been a difficult situation for staff members because they could lose their jobs and it is also hard on parents because they would have to transfer their children to another school.  This is something many of them do not want to do.

"A lot of these kids have failed at the school they came from and it would be a real shame if they would have to go back to those schools cause they're successful here," Plummer said.

This is why the school is still searching out solutions.  One solution they are working on is having a another charter school come in and take them under their wing.  Bright ideas would have the same name, just be under different management.  There are some stipulations that come with this solution.

"When a charter school does an expansion amendment and is approved, they are only approved for the facility," Rowell said, "The kids and the staff, they all have to reapply."

The school would also have to stay under the new charter for 10 years until they could reapply.

Another option the school is pursuing is having Senate Bill 1897 passed with amendments on it.  This would allow the school to be rated on the past ones under a new rating system.  According to school officials, they said they would pass it will 100-percent.  They said the bill passed the house and it could be on the Senate floor next week.

"If none of those work, then we are also considering becoming a private school again," Plummer said.

She said they were a private school from 1985 to 1992.  For now, it is just a waiting game.

"I don't know what I would do exactly," Morriss said, "That's a huge concern on my husband and I on what we're going to do."

If nothing comes together for the charter school, the doors will be closed for good on July 31st.  This is why TEA officials say parents need to start the process of having their child transferred to another school as soon as possible.

, Newschannel 6