WACO, Texas (FOX 44) – The Economic Opportunities Advancement Corporation (EOAC) Board of Directors has voted to close the Waco Charter School at the end of the current school year, and return the charter effective July 31, 2023.

The EOAC says Waco Charter School enrollment and attendance has continued to drop in recent years, and is currently down more than 20 percent – resulting in a severe strain on the financial stability of the school.

While the school has consistently provided core curriculum to the students, the school can no longer provide important programs – such as enrichment classes and extracurricular activities – which the EOAC says are vital to a young child’s development.

EOAC Executive Director Dorothy Marstaller said the charter school is one of several EOAC programs, including Head Start, Community Services and Weatherization.

“We must act in the best long-term interest of our students while being fiscally responsible to EOAC. We must remain true to our overall mission. We are, and will continue to be, a community service action agency. Our mission will not change,” Marstaller said. “The Waco Charter School cost about $2 million a year to operate and represents only 10% of the overall budget of EOAC. One financially struggling program cannot jeopardize the continued existence of EOAC and the many services provided to the thousands of clients living in communities throughout our nine-county service area.”

According to the Texas Education Agency, school attendance across Texas has declined since COVID-19 – not just in Waco. Many schools, charter and public alike, have experienced similar declines in classroom attendance, which greatly reduces revenues.

The charter school has been operating since 1996.