The California Board of Education will contest a recent court order that terminated its oversight of six schools owned by one of the largest charter school companies in the state.
Sue Burr, executive director for the state education board, said she couldn't comment on the specific reasons for the challenge, but she said that members are "preserving the board's legal rights while at the same time giving the parties sufficient opportunity to determine if a fair settlement can be reached."
The board made the decision last week during the closed session portion of its monthly meeting.
In June, Alameda County Superior Court Judge Jo-Lynne Lee found that the board improperly awarded Aspire Public Schools rights to bypass local district oversight.
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The state education board can allow charters to open schools anywhere in California but only if they can prove their services are a "statewide benefit" that cannot be provided by a charter school overseen by a local district.
In 2007, the California Teachers Association, California School Boards Association and Association of California School Administrators sued the education board, claiming it had allowed Aspire to open schools without determining whether the benefit existed.
Lee's ruling required the state to revamp its rules on statewide charters and gave six of Aspire's schools until June 2013 to gain approval from local school districts or be forced to close.
The schools are Aspire Alexander Twilight College Preparatory Academy and Aspire Alexander Twilight Secondary Academy in Sacramento, Aspire APEX Academy and Aspire Port City Academy in Stockton and Aspire Junior Collegiate Academy and Aspire Titan Academy in Huntington Park.
Aspire operates 34 schools in California, serving nearly 12,000 students.
Burr said attorneys for the state board are expected to file forms with the California Court of Appeal by the end of August.
In a statement, Karen Stapf-Walters, interim executive director of the Association of California School Administrators, said her group wants to work with the state to implement the court order and that "it's time to move forward."
“Continuing to go to court over this issue is not in the best interests of students or the state of California," Stapf-Walters said. "What is important is that a fair and balanced process is put in place by (the state board), and we look forward to collectively working toward that end."