The San Diego Unified School District trustees voted Tuesday against allowing the King/Chavez Academy for Excellence to operate without complying without local zoning laws. The future of the successful charter school, including its location next year, remains uncertain.

I reported last week about the school’s appeal to the district, under a little-known state law that allows school officials to override local land-use laws, to give it permission to remain on the site of the Calvary Baptist Church in Barrio Logan. City of San Diego development officials had demanded that the school carry out as much as $1 million in improvements to obtain the necessary building permits.

Tuesday’s hearing turned unusually divisive, as confusion over parliamentary procedure fueled anger among several board members, some of whom said the vote was unfair because school representatives were not present. At one point, trustee John de Beck accused school board President Luis Acle of violating the state’s open-meetings law by telling other board members during closed session of communications he had received from the school.

The academy must now decide what to do as it plans for the upcoming year, and decide on the district’s offer to allow the school to use the nearby Memorial Academy of Learning and Technology campus. Tim Wolf, the school’s chief executive officer, declined comment after the vote.


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