Friday, February 10, 2012

Monarch Montessori Wins Appeal

The founders of Monarch Montessori won their appeal before the State Board of Education on a 6 to 1 vote. Only Elaine Gantz Berman, from Denver, voted against the charter school. Monarch Montessori applied for a charter from Denver Public Schools and were denied.

Monarch Montessori is also a private preschool that's been in operation for two years. Now they want to add an elementary school as a charter school. Some of the issues of the appeal were if they would be able to operate a private preschool in conjunction with the charter school. Legal counsel assured the State Board that all the details had been worked out.

This case was argued by Denver Public Schools (DPS) by the head of the Office of School Reform and Innovation (OSRI) Alyssa Whitehead-Bust. Supt. Tom Boasberg also spent a considerable amount of time at the microphone responding to questions. Both Tom and Alyssa said the Monarch Montessori application was deficient, but weren't able to provide specific examples. State Board Chairman Bob Schaffer said that the application was required to provide a description of, for example, their governance, but not a particular type of governance model. Schaffer asserted that the district had gone outside of their statutory responsibilities in having a higher standard for charter school applications.

In addition to the two charter appeal hearings in February, another DPS charter school is bringing an appeal to the March State Board meeting. Life Skills was not renewed by the DPS board and is appealing that decision.

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