August 13, 2008

Charter-School Backers Not Done Filing Appeals

By Becky Orr

Supporters will go to court again and go back in front of the lcsd1 trustees.

By Becky Orr

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CHEYENNE - A group that wants to start a charter school here will apply once more to Laramie County School District 1 trustees.

"We do plan to file again," said Kari Cline, chairwoman of the Cheyenne Classical Academy. "We're not going away."

Supporters also have appealed the state Board of Education's decision. That body upheld the local school board's denial of the charter.

The free charter school would be for students in grades K-8. A charter school is a public school that can have its own curriculum and hire and fire staff. Its curriculum has to meet state requirements.

Local and state boards of education approve charters.

Charter supporters applied to LCSD 1 on Nov. 5, 2007. Trustees later turned them down.

Charter supporters then appealed to the state Board of Education. But the state board upheld the denial.

State law says charter supporters can file a new application with the school board a year after the last application.

The new application will address areas where the trustees had concerns, Cline said.

It will be stronger and more specific about governance and the location of a school.

The appeal of the state board's decision is in Laramie County District Court.

Lawyers representing the charter asked a district judge to send the matter directly to the Wyoming Supreme Court. They argued that the issue has a statewide impact.

But Laramie County District Judge Michael Davis denied the motion.

In his order on July 28, he ruled the appeal is a local issue. The matter will progress through district court.

Charter backers have until Sept. 19 to file court briefs. The school district has until Oct. 19.

At that point, a court hearing will be set.

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