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By Allison Jarrell
The Capistrano Unified School District Board of Trustees voted unanimously March 23 to approve, with 42 conditions, an application for Global Business Academy charter school to open its doors within the district.
However, GBA’s attorney, Michelle Lopez, informed the board during the meeting that the charter’s representatives are opposed to the majority of the conditions proposed by the district and would not wait to reject the conditional approval.
“The way the resolution is currently written … we’d have to wait 30 days for that to be resolved, and that’s not acceptable,” Lopez said.
Trustees were vocal in their dissatisfaction with GBA’s application for a new charter school at their Feb. 24 and March 23 meetings, citing concerns with the school’s lesson structure, financing and goal of opening for the 2016-2017 school year.
District staff’s initial recommendation on March 23 was to reject the application due to concerns including an “unsound educational program” and petitioners being “demonstrably unlikely to successfully implement the program.” Staff’s alternative recommendation was to approve the application with 42 conditions, including delaying the school’s opening to the 2017-2018 school year and restructuring the proposed educational program.
GBA representatives and speakers maintained that their charter school would make students more competitive in the business world with an innovative technological and entrepreneurial education. In terms of financing, Catherine Sanchirico, a GBA founding member, told the board the school has “many affluent backers” so organizers aren’t “worried about running out of money.”
GBA has the option to appeal the trustees’ decision to the Orange County Board of Education.
In February, the Orange County board unanimously approved the application of another charter school, the Orange County Academy of Sciences and Arts, which was previously denied by the CUSD Board of Trustees in December.