June 2022 ACCS - Item 3 Public Comment 1Public Comment 1 received for agenda Item 3 of the June 14, 2022, Advisory Commission on Charter Schools meeting.
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[The following information was provided on California Charter Schools Association letterhead.]
June 8, 2022
RE: Advisory Commission on Charter Schools (ACCS) June 2022 Item 3: Appeal of the Denial of a Petition for the Establishment of a Classroom-Based Charter School Pursuant to California Education Code Section 47605(k)(2): Consideration of the Samoa Beach Academy, which was denied by the Northern Humboldt Union High School District and the Humboldt County Board of Education: SUPPORT
Dear Chair Walsh and ACCS Commissioners,
On behalf of the California Charter Schools Association (CCSA) and the 1300 charter schools we represent, we are writing to support Samoa Beach Academy. We strongly agree with the assessment and recommendation from the California Department of Education (CDE) that Samoa Beach Academy has submitted sufficient evidence to establish a basis for the State Board of Education (SBE) to hear the appeal, and agree that there are no grounds to summarily deny the appeal.
AB 1505 ensured a fair and impartial review of charter appeals by assigning specific roles to both the ACCS and the SBE. The ACCS is charged solely with holding a public hearing to review the appeal and the documentary record and make one of two decisions:
- Determine if there is sufficient evidence that an abuse of discretion occurred and therefore recommend the SBE hear the appeal, or
- Determine there is not sufficient evidence that an abuse of discretion occurred and therefore recommend that the SBE summarily deny review of the appeal.
Samoa Beach Academy has proposed a Career Technical Education (CTE) program, offering learning and training options to students and families that are not currently available in Humboldt County. By creatively establishing partnerships with training entities, local colleges and universities, Samoa Beach Academy intends to offer a robust career tech and preparation program that local families are demanding. Students considered to be “at promise” have a right to programs that increase learning experiences and job opportunities for them – not as an elective option but as a central priority for the program. The significant participation of families at the local school district and county board hearings is testimony for the broad community support for the school.
Samoa Beach Academy petitioners were denied their right to a fair hearing at both the local district and county level. As noted in the item drafted by CDE, there were both procedural and substantive abuses of discretion that occurred at both hearings. Most notably,
- The District failed to comply with equal time guarantees as required by law.
- The District failed to comply with equal procedure guarantees as required by law.
- The District and County each failed to comply with statutory requirements to maintain and produce a transcript of the hearing where the charter petition was denied.
- The County wrongly denied the charter on the basis of not enough parent signatures.
- The District and County failed to provide substantial evidence and specific findings of fact supporting the denial of the petition as required in law.
We thank you for your careful consideration of this item and urge you to vote in support of the CDE recommendation that Samoa Beach Academy’s appeal be recommended for review at the State Board of Education.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss further, please feel free to contact me at email@example.com.
Vice President, Regulatory Affairs
and Special Education
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