Sumter school students, teachers holding class despite loss of charter school status

jself@thestate.comMarch 19, 2013 

— Students and teachers of Mary L. Dinkins charter school in Sumter are still coming to class despite the school losing its status as a public charter school.

“There are still students there, but they are not in a public school,” said Clay Eaton, public relations director for the S.C. Charter School District.

“It's an unusual situation to say the least. Parents continue to have the impression that this school is open and it is not,” Eaton said.

The Charter School District revoked the school's charter last year, but the school appealed and the state Administrative Law Court froze the revocation.

This month a judge upheld the district's decision to revoke the charter. The district moved quickly to complete the process on hold for a year.

The school has appealed again, but this time, the charter school district has not been ordered by the court to wait with revoking the school's charter, Eaton said.

The school was dropped from the district Friday, but the school's director, Benita Dinkins-Robinson has said the school would not close as it fights the loss of its charter.

The state Law Enforcement Division also is investigating the school, currently operating at the Word International Ministries church in Sumter. Dinkins-Robinson said Tuesday she was unaware of the investigation.

Eaton said the students need to enroll in an approved educational setting, such as a public or private school.

Reach Self at (803)771-8658

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