Whittle suspends operations at D.C. school after financial problems

The Whittle School & Studios is shutting down its full-time campus in Washington this fall, suspending operations at the U.S. branch of what had been envisioned as a global private school on multiple continents.

The announcement to Whittle families Friday evening came after many months of financial turmoil at the ambitious for-profit enterprise launched by veteran education entrepreneur Chris Whittle.

He said they made the decision late Thursday after learning that a critical financing deal had been delayed.

The decision leaves students, teachers and staff in Washington scrambling just weeks before the next school year.

This pricey school promised a global education. It’s barely solvent.

“It is devastating to me to report to you this news …” Whittle wrote in a letter to families. “I know the commitment all of you have made to the school in the past four and a half years since we announced our opening here; the immense inconvenience this entails for your families; and how patient everyone has been as we have all suffered through this terrible time together. Similarly, the Whittle team has invested 7.5 years since the day we began planning the Washington campus and this comes as a severe disappointment to them too.”

He said by phone Friday that they would work to find other schools for students in Washington, and jobs for staff members either overseas or domestically. They also hope to have some Washington-based summer, evening, weekend and…

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