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New Hope Academy rallies at court hearing - abc27 WHTM

New Hope Academy rallies at court hearing

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) -

One by one, New Hope Academy students walked off the bus and towards the Judicial Center. Students made it clear: They do not want to attend school anywhere else.

"It didn't work for us, it works for certain people, but we deserve to have a choice," said New Hope senior Ashley Shaw.

"I feel like my future is going to be gone, like I won't succeed," said 8th grader Janeya Holley.

Parents followed the three school buses full of students to Harrisburg, posters in hand and wearing "Save New Hope" t-shirts.

"There are not opportunities that provide the same type of safety, educational benefit and security for him," said mother Shannon Garcia of her New Hope son.

Inside the court room, York City School District cited financial and performance issues on standardized tests as the reasons why New Hope's charter was not renewed.

"As it stands, only 10 percent of York City residents have a college degree, and we have been sending over 80 percent of our graduates to college. So we have already changed the statistics and the community," said Kiersten Sutton of New Hope Academy.

Most District officials refused to answer any questions.

"I have no comment this afternoon," said Superintendent Eric Holmes.

School Board President Margie Orr did offer her thoughts on New Hope's rally.

"Why waste a school day on these kids. Their grades are already in the toilet. Why would you waste a school day?" said Orr.

Orr enrolled her grandchild at New Hope, who graduated two years ago. Orr says she was not satisfied with his education.

"I believe it's hugely contradictory; I think the question is, you had a choice, why can't I? As a parent [she had] that same choice, and so obviously she made that decision for a reason," said Sutton. "These are children, so at the end of the day you need to lay your head down and say, Did I make the best decision for the children? I don't think they can say that."

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