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The San Diego Unified board voted to renew the charter for Holly Drive Leadership Academy — provided the school fixes its finances within a year and gets a permit for its site by September. District staff had recommended that the school board shutter the charter school because of persistent financial problems.

The board decided instead to give Holly Drive another year to build up an emergency reserve, bring its expenses in line with its income, and become an independent nonprofit, instead of operating partially through the school district. It also must get a conditional permit for its site from the city by September. If Holly Drive fails to do so, it could be up for closure again next June. Failing to meet testing goals under No Child Left Behind could also put the school on the chopping block, but it has more time — three years — to up its scores than to put its books in order.

While charter schools have often closed for financial reasons in San Diego, Holly Drive is one of the few that has been in the crosshairs of San Diego Unified, which oversees the school as its authorizer, for forced closure because of its woes.

EMILY ALPERT

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