Travis school trustees hear about charter laws

By From page A8 | January 08, 2014

FAIRFIELD — A school district can’t arbitrarily deny a petition for a charter school, but doesn’t have to approve all such requests, an attorney told trustees for the Travis School District when they met Tuesday.

Clarissa Canady, speaking during the workshop on legal requirements for districts and charter schools, said California law encourages such schools and a governing board denying a petition has to provide written findings for its decision.

The attorney added that denials usually involve several reasons that can include such issues as a charter school lacking the teachers required to serve estimated enrollment.

Canady said that while some professional conglomerates operate charters, “most are mom and pops,” involving parents who want neighborhood schools.

Western Valley Charter Academy has petitioned Travis Unified to be a part of the school district. A public hearing on the charter was held  Dec. 10, 2013,  when two teachers, a school employees union representative and a parent questioned the proposal by Western Valley, which operates a home school and independent study charter academy.

Canady said at the Tuesday workshop that school district oversight of a charter includes a visit at least annually and monitoring the fiscal condition of the charter school. Oversight not does not involve managing the charter’s business or controlling its operations, the attorney said.

Reviews of charter school petitions usually take about 90 days, Canady noted.

Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or [email protected]

Ryan McCarthy


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