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FORT WORTH -- It may be running out of money and headed for closure, but that's not stopping Deion Sanders' Prime Prep Academy from opening its doors for the start of school on Monday.

Those hoping to enroll at Prime Prep's Fort Worth elementary school campus Thursday were met with locked doors, a confusing scene inside the windows, and a sign on the door saying they've moved.

It moved to a shopping center, store-front location on East Lancaster Boulevard, next to the Workforce Commission offices, and just down the block from 'Smoke, Toke and Poke,' an adult-oriented variety shop.

When we asked for a tour of the new Prime Prep facility, we were denied access and were told to leave.

But we did get to speak with Laredo Green, who came to the new location to enroll her three grandchildren, whom she said seek a better education than they have been getting in public school.

'And these teachers are gifted-and-talented accredited,' Green boasted.

But no one told told her that Prime Prep is among poorest performing charter schools in the state two years in a row. We broke the news to her that the Prime Prep charter is being revoked by the state.

'Did they tell you that?' we asked.

'No,' Green said. 'No, they didn't tell me that.'

Their charter is being revoked for improper use of federal lunch program funds. What's more, Prime Prep is now being sued by a private food company, called Dinerite, for not paying the more than $30,000 they say they are owed.

Two scheduled school board meetings to address future school lunches were cancelled this week.

Last week, without official approval, Deion Sanders brokered a confusing arrangement by which fourth through eighth graders could now attend another charter school that is not on the state's 'low performing' list.

As for the charter revocation, Prime Prep officials have filed an appeal. But indications are, Prime Prep plans to open its doors Monday, when the Texas Education Agency sends the charter a fresh, quarter-million dollar reimbursement check for the education provided to students this past May.

David Dunn, president of the Texas Charter School Association, said the state is required to pay Prime Prep. But Dunn said it's up to parents to do their homework and up to others to educate parents.

'It's incumbent on the state, it's incumbent on the schools themselves, and it's incumbent on organizations like ours - the Texas Charter Schools Association - to do everything we can to make sure that information is readily available,' Dunn said.

Prime Prep Academy officials dismiss any concerns and say they are ready and excited about the start of school on Monday. They say they have more than 500 students enrolled, and feel good about winning their appeal with the state.

As for the new lawsuit, they say they haven't been served.

E-mail bshipp@wfaa.com

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