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Supporters fighting to keep Shabazz Academy open

Posted at 4:02 AM, Jun 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-26 09:56:59-04

LANSING, Mich. — A Mid-Michigan elementary school is on the brink of closing its doors for good because of low test scores.

El Hajj Malik El Shabazz Academy is losing its authorization from Central Michigan University and may be forced to shut down.

Shabazz Academy has a 25-year history in Lansing.

It’s a charter school with an African-centered curriculum for roughly 300 students, but the school’s future is unknown.

CMU has been the academy's authorizer since 1995.

The university sent a letter back in May stating the academy's charter contract expires June 30th and will not be renewed.

CMU released a statement to Fox 47 citing the decision is due to fiscal operational and academic reasons.

The university claims the academy is placed at the bottom five percent in the state.

“MDE (Michigan Department of Education) set-up a system and a partnership to aid us,” said Dr. Willie Davis, a member on the academy’s Board of Directors.

“A three-year partnership that in three years we could bring our scores up to the average based-upon the resources that they would give.”

Board members say the school was not given adequate time to make improvements.

They say the university's decision was “rushed to judgement”.

“You've got an authorization process coming in June, you just signed a three-year contract with the State of Michigan to improve your scores. After one year CMU says no,” Dr. Davis explained.

Board members are responding with a notice of opposition and legal challenge.

Shabazz Academy is currently in search for a new authorizer to remain open.

Shabazz Supporters are holding a meeting Wednesday to discuss future plans for the school.

It's happening at the Downtown Capital Area district Library at 5:30 p.m.

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