School board plans to go to court after license denial

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Updated: 5/05 10:18 pm

TROY, N.Y. – The Ark Community Charter School’s license renewal was denied, so the board will take its case to the state supreme court.

The SUNY Board of Trustees Charter School Committee oversees Ark. The board decided in a 2-1 vote on March 17 to not renew the operating license for Ark.

This is the first time the school has been targeted for closure. Leaders at the school said they have outperformed the public schools four out of the last five years. But the SUNY Charter Committee said the school did not perform well with Common Core last year.

The committee has cited the poor academic performance as the reason for closure.

Parents and students rallied outside the school Monday. Stephen Morris said his daughter didn’t start off in the best neighborhood, and Ark has made a difference.

“This school has been something amazing for my kid,” he said. “Having her here switched her attitude up a lot.”

The SUNY Trustees Board released the following statement:

“The determination by the SUNY trustees was based on the school’s inability to meet the academic goals and performance metrics it agreed to when it was chartered. The process used to make the determination was completely open to the public and consistent with both SUNY and national charter school standards and protocols.”

The Ark’s Board of Trustees voted Monday evening to take legal action to stay open. They said they feel like they’re being targeted.

“We’re asking for a stay, and that the decision be reversed by the state supreme court,” Chairman Steven Axelrod.

Morris hopes the supreme court will keep the school open.

“I know what it did for [my daughter],” he said. “And I feel like it could do that for a lot of kids around here.”

If a judge decides the case needs to be reviewed, then the school will again be in front of the SUNY Board of Trustees Charter Schools Committee to plead its case.

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