The Green Valley Charter School’s last ditch effort at surviving depends on the California Board of Education, if the school decides to continue fighting to renew its charter.
And that process may stretch to September, state officials said.
“We aren’t aware that this school has submitted any information yet,” Carolyn Pfister, an administrator for the state board, told the Enterprise on Tuesday.
Green Valley, a 5-year-old Waldorf education-inspired school, has operated under a charter with the Los Banos school district. However, that charter will run out June 30. The K-7 school, which currently enrolls about 200 students, is one of only two charter schools operating in Merced County.
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School officials petitioned the Los Banos school district to renew its charter. But critical comments by the California Charter Schools Association, an organization that advocates for charter schools, recommended the school district deny the charter due to low test scores and comparable results.
The school district denied the renewal in February. Green Valley appealed to the Merced County Board of Education, but last week it also denied the appeal in light of a staff report that questioned the school’s facilities and education plans.
School officials have not responded to multiple requests for comment by the Enterprise since the county board denied the appeal. The school was on spring break last week.
Pfister said that since January 2011, the state board of education has received 34 charter school petitions. Of those, 23 petitions were for new schools. Five of those 23 were denied and 17 were approved, with one petition resulting in no action.
Seven petitions were renewal appeals by existing schools, Pfister said. Three were denied and two were approved. Two appeals weren’t heard, which could mean they were pulled by the school among other reasons.
The remaining four appeals were pulled by the schools.
Pfister said the Green Valley has some time to file an appeal with the state board along with minutes and other documents detailing discussion about the charter school on the county and district boards.
Following “an exhaustive and thorough” review, Pfister said the appeal would head to an advisory commission on charter schools with a public hearing. The commission would give a recommendation to the state board, which would hold another public hearing before making a decision.
Vikaas Shanker: 209-826-3831, ext. 6562