- Associated Press - Thursday, April 17, 2014

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - After months of fruitless efforts to secure a home, the board of directors of Career Academy agreed unanimously the career-oriented high school will close its doors next month when this school year ends.

The Advocate reports (http://bit.ly/1mge96w ) on Thursday the board is holding off a decision on whether to relinquish the school’s five-year charter with the East Baton Rouge Parish school system. The charter is not scheduled to expire until 2016.

The closure of Career Academy means about 190 ninth-, 10th- and 11th-graders will have to find another high school this fall. The senior class of about 50 students is set to graduate in May.

Nancy Roberts, executive director of the Louisiana Resource Center for Educators, the organization that launched the charter school in fall 2011, said she’s called everyone she can think of.

As it stands, she said, the school will no longer be welcome on the two north Baton Rouge school campuses where it occupies space.

Board members asked if there were any other options.

“Someone would have to find you a location,” Roberts said.

“To me this is just a killer,” said board member Glenn Redd of Baton Rouge. “It’s against everything we’ve been trying to accomplish.”

Some parents and students were alternately pleading and defiant at the meeting Wednesday night as they learned the news.

Rhonda Boe said she moved to Baton Rouge so her son could learn welding at the school.

“If there’s anyone with a building or funding and you’re watching, help these kids,” Boe pleaded.

Cathy McKinley, a registered nurse and teacher at Career Academy, said she worked this year with 17 seniors who interned at Baton Rouge General Medical Center.

“They are already getting job offers,” she said.

Starting in 2007, LRCE brought together a consortium of industry leaders to help form the school.

Board member Jimmy Sylvester, of Turner Industries, said Career Academy is filling a huge local demand for people in skilled trades.

“Many of us in industry see this as a huge loss,” Sylvester said.

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Information from: The Advocate, http://theadvocate.com

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