Oakland, CA — Aspire Public Schools announced today that it has received a final decision from the Superior Court of Alameda County in California School Boards Association, et al., v. California State Board of Education (Case No. RG07353566), involving the State Board of Education’s (SBE) approval of the Aspire statewide benefit charter. Aspire Public Schools is named as a Real Party in Interest in this court case. Aspire Public Schools is the highest-performing large public school system serving predominantly low-income students in California, and the largest charter management organization in the state.
In the 29-page decision*, Superior Court Judge Jo-Lynne Q. Lee, ordered that the State Board of Education (1) set aside its 2007 approval and the May 2011 amendment approval of a statewide charter for Aspire and (2) adopt regulations in compliance with Education Code Section 47605.8(a), both within 350 days from the date that a copy of the writ was served on the State Board of Education. A return of the writ must be submitted on or before June 24, 2013. Aspire believes that this decision may require it to seek local charters for the 2013/14 school year.
Judge Lee also specifically stated: “The court has set a one-year deadline for the return on the writ of mandate in order to reduce any hardship to presently enrolled students and facilitate the transition of schools currently operating under Aspire’s statewide charter…” As such, the Aspire schools currently operating under the statewide benefit charter will continue to do so for the 2012/13 school year.
“We are studying the court’s order and have begun today the process of seeking local charters for these six schools while we consider other options,” said James Willcox, Aspire’s Chief Executive. “We are committed to serving all of our students and families who count on Aspire and want to calm any uncertainty that this decision may cause. As we discussed on our recent conference call, we have applied for charters or renewals nearly 60 times since our founding with positive results in all cases. We are hopeful that the three school districts involved will recognize the success we have had for students from their communities. Aspire will also be reviewing the matter with the State Attorney General’s office and may participate in an appeal of the decision.”
The six Aspire statewide benefit schools include:
- Aspire Alexander Twilight College Preparatory Academy, Sacramento, CA
- Aspire Alexander Twilight Secondary Academy, Sacramento, CA
- Aspire APEX Academy, Stockton, CA
- Aspire Junior Collegiate Academy, Huntington Park, CA
- Aspire Port City Academy, Stockton, CA
- Aspire Titan Academy, Huntington Park, CA
The students at these schools represent 16 percent of Aspire’s current enrollment of approximately 12,000 students. Five of these schools were recipients of proceeds from Aspire’s Series 2010 California Statewide Communities Development Authority School Facility Revenue Bonds. Aspire Junior Collegiate and Titan Academies were recently recognized as Distinguished Schools by the Californian Department of Education.
* The court’s decision will be posted to the court’s website. Click on Case Summary and then enter the case number RG07353566. Then click on Register of Actions and scroll down to the Statement of Decision dated June 22, 2012.