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Academie Lafayette And Kansas City Public Schools End Deal

Sam Zeff

For two years, the Kansas City Public Schools and Academie Lafayette tried to come to a deal to merge schools at the Southwest Early College Campus.

On Tuesday that partnership fell apart.

When it was announced, it was billed as the next thing in education, a partnership between a very successful charter school and a somewhat struggling public high school.

But in the end, leaders from both sides say, it was too difficult to merge the academic programs and to figure out where to house the joint program.

"This was a long and difficult decision," Academie Lafayette Board President Chad Phillips said in a statement.

Lafayette Board Vice President Marvin Lyman said Lafayette parents will be disappointed because the school still doesn’t have a high school.

But, he says, they’re still looking.

“That could be a partnership, a continued partnership with KCPS (Kansas City Public Schools). It could be a partnership with another charter school. It could be a partnership with another entity that could come into Kansas City," Lyman said at a joint news conference with Kansas City Public Schools Superintendent Steve Green.

Green said the collapse of the partnership puts the future of Southwest in jeopardy.

The school currently has just 400 students.

Green would only promise that Southwest would stay open through next school year.

You deserve to know what your taxpayer dollars are paying for and what public officials are doing on your behalf – I’ll work to report on irresponsible government spending in the Kansas City area and shed light on controversies that slow government down. And when you hear my voice in the morning, you know you’re getting everything you need to start your day. Email me at sam@kcur.org, find me on Twitter @samzeff or call me at 816-235-5004.
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