Leaders Of Hialeah Gardens Charter High School Vote To Close Mid-Year

Nov 12, 2019

The board of an A-rated charter high school in Hialeah Gardens voted unanimously Tuesday to shut down by the end of the month.

The LBA Construction and Business Management Academy will close Nov. 29, a move that requires students to find a new school during the middle of the year.

"We've had dialogue with numerous of the schools in the immediate [vicinity] to see how we can transition expeditiously, student-by-student, to make sure that they are landing in the most appropriate place," said Erick Valderrama, the school's governing board chair, during Tuesday's board meeting on campus in Hialeah Gardens.

Read more: 'A Different Direction': A-Rated Hialeah Charter School Favored By Politicians Set To Close 

Students at the school have said they were informed they'll be transferring to a nearby charter school, Mater Academy, which is affiliated with the for-profit education company Academica. A spokesperson the Mater charter school network said a "partnership" is in the works.

Valderrama would not provide more information after the meeting Tuesday, saying he would prefer to answer questions in writing. He did not respond to a list of questions last Friday.

Valderrama is executive director of the Latin Builders Association, a Hispanic-led professional membership organization for the construction industry that opened the business-focused school in 2012. It has enjoyed support from prominent Republican politicians including Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Initially, Miami-Dade County Public Schools managed LBA Academy. But just a few months ago, the school's leaders entered into a new contract with Academica for administrative services.