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DALLAS State taxpayers have been paying to keep Prime Prep Academy open.

Wednesday, officials at Deion Sanders' charter school filed an appeal to keep from closing.

Prime Prep's appeal to the Texas Education Agency was an answer to the TEA's attempt to close the school. Saying closing the school would only hurt the students, school officials are offering a number of alternatives to remain open.

About 100 parents and student, even Prime Prep co-founder Deion Sanders, turned out Tuesday night for a pep rally at Prime Prep's Dallas campus that wasn't for the upcoming football season or even the school year. Instead, it was to drum up support for a campaign to save the school.

'We need you to tell everybody you can that Prime Prep is still one of the best that ever came about,' said Omar Jahwar, Prime Prep supporter.

Two weeks ago, the TEA served notice to Prime Prep. It's charter to operate was being stripped for mismanagement of the federal school lunch program after $46,000 in free and reduced lunch funds went missing and the school didn't responded to state officials as to why.

On July 15, Prime Prep was served notice of the state's intent to revoke its charter. Wednesday, on the final day to appeal the decision, school officials filed its answer to the charges. They claim past administrators are to blame for any deficiencies and neglect and that closing the school would only cause the children harm.

Officials say new administrators have the school on the right path and that performance and accountability are already on the mend. What's more, the school is offering to reconstitute its board of directors, even transfer operations to another charter just to keep Deion Sanders' dream alive.

If the state denies the appeal, Prime Prep can take their case to an administrative hearing. If that happens, it could take months, which means Prime Prep would likely open for the fall semester, on time, next month.

Email bshipp@wfaa.com

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