LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- Dreamland Academy Charter School may soon be no more. The Arkansas Department of Education is recommending the state board shut down it down.
The school is up for renewal next month but findings in an audit could revoke the charter. The school held a rally Friday, during its annual Fun Day. Parents, teachers, and students are trying to keep the charter school open. They're battling a scholastic audit showing numerous problems.
Now, at least one school board member and the superintendent wonder if race is playing a factor and Dreamland being singled out.
Dreamland Academy's board member Imani Sublett is fighting to keep her son and granddaughter's school open.
"These children are in a low-socioeconomic crime infested area and environment," says Sublett.
She helped organize petitions and a rally after the state's scholastic audit in March.
"That scholastic audit was bias and prejudicial," says Sublett.
The school fought a potential shut down in 2008 because of finances, which have since been corrected. The current audit is a sea of red, which denotes little or no development in all nine standards. This includes curriculum, class evaluations, instruction, school culture, community support, professional growth, leadership, fiscal resources, and comprehensive planning.
The state conducted a comprehensive review a few weeks later, which says the district is not teaching the required minutes for P.E. and there's no proper documentation of its Smart Core curriculum policy.
Superintendent Brendly Clark says it's frustrating because the audit doesn't reflect her school.
"If there was no principal or superintendent for five years then there was no leadership. If there were no books, curriculum design, no teachers, or no progress then I would expect curriculum would be an issue," says Clark.
Clark met with State Senator Joyce Elliott Friday for the first time to discuss the charter's potential shut down. Elliott says she doesn't have an opinion yet on if the school should remain open.
"Obviously there was a reason why Dreamland was ever chartered. We need to look at that and reevaluate that," says State Sen. Elliott.
Board member Imani Sublett says the state may be targeting Dreamland because of its racial makeup.
"Since 2006, they have shut down predominately African American charter schools," says Sublett.
Arkansas Department of Education Seth Blomeley denies that's the state's mission. Instead, he points to the audit.
"No policies regarding library book check out. There were no policies regarding class schedules," says Blomeley.
Dreamland Academy is accredited, but Blomeley says that was a mistake. The Arkansas Department of Education sent the charter school a letter on May 15th that says it should have revoked accreditation after the March review. But since it's the department's fault, it will still recognize its accreditation.
The state board meeting is June 11. The state has shut down five charter schools. Two were predominately African American--Urban Collegiate Preparatory Charter and Hope Academy in Pine Bluff.