The state’s first charter school won’t see the light of day. At least, not yet.
In special meetings earlier this week, both the Monongalia and Preston county boards of education refused to approve the creation of the West Virginia Academy charter school.
But it might not end there, based on comments made by Academy President John Treu. Treu’s comments include references to “default approval” despite the school boards’ rulings, as well as a “deeply flawed process” in which the application never really stood a chance. He has previously suggested that the Academy would consider filing a lawsuit. You can read Treu’s comments in full here.
Mon County Schools’ unanimous vote to deny the charter followed the recommendation from the office of Superintendent Eddie Campbell, which identified what it called “deficiencies” in seven of 10 benchmarks. Campbell’s recommendation for rejection was expected, Treu said in a blog post published on the Academy’s website the day before the meeting, remarking that Campbell has a conflict of interest in the process since any charter school approved will operate outside the purview of his office, reporting instead directly to the county school board.
Each school board member had a chance during the special meeting to make public comments about the charter school application. Almost all five members cited their belief that the charter school as presented offered nothing that Mon County Schools doesn’t already offer students.
Parents should be the ones to make the ultimate choice about the future of the Academy, Treu says. He pledges to address each of the seven deficiencies in the coming days on the Academy’s website so that parents can have “valid information and decide for themselves.”
This week’s developments also caught the attention of GOP Senate Education Committee Chairwoman Patricia Rucker, who plans to address the statute in the upcoming legislative session. Rucker believes the authorizing authority on charter schools should not rest with local school boards.