Thirty-three schools had petitioned the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) board to have their charters renewed.
Not all of them passed.
Area schools Magnolia Science Academy and the North Valley Military Institute College Preparatory Academy (NVMI) were two of the three denied renewal at the board meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 7.
District staff officials recommended denial for the Magnolia Science Academy, serving 210 students in grades 6-10 currently on the campus of Reseda High School, saying the school had not met the requirements set forth in Education Code sections 47605 and 47607 and recommended denial “based on a comprehensive review of the renewal petition application and the record of [academic] performance.”
In its report to the board, district staffers said Magnolia Science Academy presented an “unsound educational program” for the pupils to be enrolled in the charter school, was “demonstrably unlikely” to successfully implement the program set forth in the petition, and that test results “show levels of academic performance that are below the Resident Schools Median and Similar Schools Median in both English Language Arts (ELA) and Math.”
Magnolia Chief Executive Caprice Young — a former school board member — defended the school, saying academic performance had declined in part because the district three years ago had ruled Magnolia could no longer have classroom space in Hollywood, and that no students from the former campus had moved over to the one at Reseda High.
But the board, including member Ref Rodriguez who also briefly defended the school, voted 7-0 to deny renewal.
Rodriguez, who has been indicted by the LA County District Attorney’s office on charges of laundering campaign funds and had stepped down as the board president, had been asked to recuse himself from any voting on Tuesday. He declined.
The district staff made similar claims of an “unsound education program” and substandard academic results against NVMI, currently serving 610 students in grades 6-12 on the campus of Sun Valley High School. It also cited concerns about its finances.
NVMI officials contended it should continue to serve as a second chance school for at-risk students. But the board vote was also 7-0 to deny renewal.
Officials from both schools are expected to appeal the board’s decision.
The Ingenium Charter Middle School, the New Horizons Charter Academy — both in North Hollywood — were among the schools that were renewed.
LAUSD, the second largest school district in the US, currently has more charter schools than any other school system, with 110,000 students. Once a school is granted charter status, it must petition for renewal every five years.