Richard Milburn Academy in Bonita faces closure


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Richard Milburn Academy in Bonita faces closure

By Julie Salomone. CREATED Sep 13, 2012 - UPDATED: Sep 13, 2012

BONITA SPRINGS, Fla. - A charter school in Bonita Springs might be forced to close after only being open since August 2011.

Regina Brown was one of the first teachers hired last year when the Richard Milburn Academy in Bonita first opened. Her heart sank when she learned the school might already be closing.

"I immediately thought about each of the students, one by one, face by face and knowing their personal situations and where they came from and how are they going to react to the school closing," said Brown.

The school is a tuition-free public charter high school, but already it's facing financial problems b because it is not meeting the enrollment goals needed to stay open.

The academy says they would need $30,000 a month to continue to stay open and $250,000  for the entire school year.

The academy's board sent a request to the Lee County School District to close the facility. The academy said it does not have the money to stay open. The school caters to students who were not successful in a traditional high school setting.
"Everybody in school has been through something. There's a reason why they don't want to be in a public high school," said Rosangelica Valle, former student who graduated in December.

For Joshua Cerda, the news is devastating. He is so close to graduation and says this school is his last chance to earn a diploma.

"It's been making me feel, our hope is really been taken away from us. Some of us, like me, it's our last chance, only opportunity I have," said Joshua Cerda, senior.

If the school closes, some students will have no where to go.

"Some students because of their ages may not have any place to go," said Dr. Rozalyne Wright, principal.

"You're not just closing down a school, you're closing the door for us to succeed in life," said Yesenia Valero, student.

The Lee County School District has not replied yet to the academy's request. No word yet on when a decision will be made regarding the school's closure.