A charter school that was shuttered by San Diego Unified this summer after a bitter battle is taking its case to the County Board of Education this Wednesday, hoping to overturn the decision.

San Diego Unified decided to close Promise, a charter school that ran from kindergarten to eighth grade in Chollas View, after a school district investigation spurred by parent and teacher complaints concluded that Promise suffered a long list of other violations, including keeping faulty financial statements and violating state laws that require it to hold open meetings.

Promise attorneys argue that the school fixed all the problems and that the school district didn’t give it a chance to look over the evidence against them before it decided to shut the school down. Backers pointed to its test scores, which ranked high among schools with similar challenges.

The county board can choose to overturn the shutdown, uphold it or decline to make a decision at all.

County staff is recommending that it upholds the decision to close the school. If it does, Promise can turn to the state Board of Education to plead its case again.

Charter schools are publicly funded but independently run by their own boards. School districts monitor them from a distance. If charter schools mismanage money, violate the law or fall short academically, school districts can decide to shut them down. In San Diego Unified, that step has been rare, making Promise an important test for charter school oversight.

Emily Alpert is the education reporter for voiceofsandiego.org. What should she write about next? Please contact her directly at emily.alpert@voiceofsandiego.org.

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Emily Alpert was formerly the education reporter for Voice of San Diego.

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