High-Performing Charter School Expansion Faces Challenges - NBC 7 San Diego

High-Performing Charter School Expansion Faces Challenges

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    NEWSLETTERS

    La Mesa Charter School Fighting For Expansion

    A charter school in La Mesa is looking to expand its campus, but some are resistant to its expansion. NBC 7's Rory Devine reports on why the school is taking its case to the state Board of Education. (Published Wednesday, March 7, 2018)

    A high-performing charter school in La Mesa is facing challenges because local districts are rejecting its requests for oversight.

    This is a problem for College Preparatory Middle School because charter schools require oversight from a school district to exist legally. Furthermore, its contract with the Mountain Empire School District expires at the end of the year, according to the school's administration.

    On Tuesday night, parents tried to persuade the district to reconsider before the charter asks the State Board of Education for approval. A recommendation from the California Department of Education has already given the school a thumbs up.

    Currently, the charter school is located in the basement of a school in La Mesa. But school officials said they are planning to build a better, bigger campus on this property in Spring Valley to meet increased demand for enrollment.

    At the moment, there are 240 students attending College Prep Middle School with 130 more on the waiting list, according to the school's administration.

    The school is one of the top ranking middle schools in the county and across the state based on its students' high test scores. Despite these achievements, no local school districts have stepped up to oversee the charter school.

    One of the school's administrators, Christina Callaway, believes the La Mesa Spring Valley School District simply doesn't want to lose money. The district has rejected the charter school's request for oversight twice.

    "I think the fear is that children will choose to attend our school over a district school," Callaway said.

    The superintendent of the La Mesa-Spring Valley School District would not discuss the issue with NBC 7 Wednesday but according to the San Diego Union-Tribune, the district is reportedly concerned about the charter's financing of the new campus and whether it can meet its enrollment goals.

    At a school board meeting Tuesday night, Dawn Rivera, a parent of a student at College Prep Middle School, asked the board to "drop its opposition to the charter and stop hindering a small school that makes a big difference in the community."

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