Lee Alternative Charter High School is Now Closed
Lee Alternative is one of three Richard Milburn Academy schools in Southwest Florida; it’s the third to shut down and the second charter school to close in Lehigh Acres in the past six months. Lehigh Charter School of Excellence off Joel Boulevard was given its notice of termination by the Lee County School Board in early November.
Lee Alternative’s low enrollment came under watch after the Lee County school board found the schools in Bonita Springs and Fort Myers lacking and struggling financially. The board of directors for Richard Milburn met in December to plan their next step but to the disappointment of students and staff they ultimately decided to close the doors.
The grade 9-12 charter school has 149 enrolled students ranging in age from 15 to 21 years old. The seniors were just a few credits from getting their high school diploma. Open for five years, the school has gotten a bad rap, according to Principal Tim Butts, who’d only worked there since the beginning of this school year. He’d seen a change in a very short period of time. Last year there were a lot of fights and disturbances but the company brought in a new staff and set the bar higher, Butts said.
Most of the students intend to finish school in Fort Myers. There are students who want to stick together if possible.