Board denies charter school

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The Englewood School Board unanimously voted to deny the application to establish a charter school in the district.

The vote came during a special Oct. 22 meeting in the boardroom at the school administration building. The only agenda item for the meeting was consideration of the charter school application.

Brad Miller, an attorney, was the only person to address the board. He urged the board to approve the charter application.

The 28 people in the audience listened as the board members discussed the draft resolutions and voted 4-0 to deny the charter school application.

Mary Zachariah, Lloyd Carlton Academy charter school founding board president, said after the meeting that the academy supporters were disappointed by the school board’s decision.

“We are disappointed, but I think we expected to have the application turned down,” Theresa Martens, board vice president, added. “The reasons they gave for turning down the application are flawed. But we are not going away. If we decide not to appeal tonight’s decision, we will regroup and be more aggressive as we prepare to come back with a stronger application next year.”

The founding board met later to decide their next step.

“We decided not to appeal the board’s decision,” Zachariah said Oct. 23. “Instead, we are going to come back more aggressively to present an improved application next year.”

She said the school board pointed to the lack of support from Englewood families. That will be an area of concentration as the founding board prepares the application for the charter next year.

“We have Englewood parents who support our effort to establish a charter school here,” she said. “Unfortunately, parents support us but they don’t come out to express their support to the school board. That is one of the issues we’ll work to correct next year.”

The proposal was to open the charter school in August 2014 with 200 students in kindergarten through fifth grade. The school would use the Core Knowledge-based curriculum and would grow to a kindergarten through eighth-grade school with 400 students in five years.

This marks the second time in two years that many of the same proponents have submitted an application to open a charter school in Englewood and the school board has denied the application.

At the Oct. 22 board meeting, Adele Reester, district legal counsel, prepared draft resolution to approve the charter and to reject the charter.

The council adopted the draft resolution to deny the charter request, which included a number of reasons why the application was turned down.

Scott Gorsky, school board president, said his biggest concern was the fact, although about 25 Englewood residents wrote letters of intent to enroll children in the charter school, no parents had attended meetings and spoke in support of the proposal.

Board member Vicki Howard said she was concerned about the turnover of people on the founding board and about the sustainability.

“One reason I don’t favor the proposal is the independent consultants hired by the district to review the application listed the same concerns about the application they listed last year,” said Duane Thomas, board member. “Most of those concerns were not addressed.”

 

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