Charter School in Eagle Rock Abruptly Closes Due to Low Enrollment, Leaving Students Scrambling

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On the fourth day of its second school year, an Eagle Rock charter school closed its doors this week, leaving parents and students disappointed, angry and tearful — and bucking the usual narrative of ceaseless charter growth.

PUC iPrep Charter Academy had dual-language programs in English and either Spanish or Mandarin — the sort of offerings that are usually popular. But it was in an area with too many good school options, and it enrolled too few students.

It may or may not have been a factor that the school was part of Partnerships to Uplift Communities, the group of charter schools co-founded by Ref Rodriguez, who resigned from the Los Angeles Board of Education in July after pleading guilty to criminal charges related to his campaign for office.

The school aimed to enroll 275 students this year, although the organization told parents it would try to make things work with 200. But by Wednesday, it had only 114 students — and PUC’s board voted to shut it down.

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