Readers Respond

Closing of Monarch Academy more about dislike for charters than problems with the school

In Talia Richman’s article, "As Baltimore prepares to close more schools, many worry about the communities they anchor", Dec. 27), she includes Baltimore City Public Schools’ rationale for closing Monarch Academy Baltimore, claiming it has deficiencies in serving special education students.

Baltimore City Public Schools CEO Sonja Santelises informed me in a meeting on Dec. 10 that Monarch was not closing due to special education services. She went on to say her executive director of special education had never suggested that Monarch’s special education compliance was egregious. She shared that there are other schools in the system that have much more egregious compliance issues than Monarch.


Further, the school system claims Monarch achieves poor test scores — based on an admittedly problematic test that will be discontinued by the state after next school year. Other tests show Monarch students routinely improving.

So why does Baltimore City Public Schools want to close Monarch? In that same meeting, Ms. Santelises revealed: “Baltimore has too many charter schools.”


Too many for whom?

The recommendation to close Monarch has nothing to do with education. It has to do with returning 990 children and the dollars attached to them back to traditional schools — taking away the choice the charter law provides parents — by closing a school in which parents feel their children are thriving.

Andrew L. Ross

The writer is CEO of The Children’s Guild, which operates Monarch Academy Baltimore.