Oxford Preparatory Academy’s application to create a charter school was unanimously approved last night by the Chino Valley Unified School District Trustees. Oxford also applied to the Saddleback Valley School District for a charter school in Mission Viejo, but was denied last month on a 3-2 vote after Superintendent Fish presented a lengthy written recommendation against the plan.
Chino was scheduled to vote on the issue in December but postponed the matter until January 21 after learning of Saddleback’s negative action. A thorough review of Dr. Fish’s report did not impair the final outcome in Chino. Oxford’s attorney represents 2/3 of the state’s charter schools and felt Oxford’s application was one of the best in California.
SVUSD’s rejection flew in the face of state and federal education policy which encourages charter schools for enhancing innovation and productivity in education. The creation of charter schools is a factor for obtaining federal school funds under the new Race To The Top program.
The Chino Board approved Oxford by 1) approving its proposed charter, 2) approving an employment Memorandum of Understanding, and 3) approving a special education Memorandum of Understanding. Oxford will open at an existing public school in the Chino District next Fall.
It is unclear whether Saddleback parents and the founders of Oxford will appeal the SVUSD rejection to the OC Board of Education. Dr. Fish’s administration has not been as receptive as Chino in working cooperatively with Oxford to achieve a mutually acceptable charter arrangement.
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