For Immediate Release
Contact: Marlies Burns, State Charter School Board Executive Director
801-538-7817 · firstname.lastname@example.org
State Charter School Board Initiates Procedures to Terminate Two Utah Charter Schools
SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah State Charter School Board voted unanimously today to propose termination that could end in the closures of Alianza Academy, a K-8 charter school with campuses in West Valley City and South Salt Lake, and Wasatch Institute of Technology, a charter high school in Murray. The schools may appeal the State Charter School Board’s decision within the next five days.
“This shows that our system of charter schools is working,” said State Charter School Board Chair Howard Headlee. “We search for better ways to educate children and when it doesn’t work, we move on and try something else.”
Alianza first opened in 2011; 397 students were enrolled in 2014. Wasatch Institute of Technology opened in fall of 2014 and had 81 students in enrollment at that time.
Both schools had previously been placed on probation; Alianza for perceived budget problems, contract issues, revenue reductions, Special Education services, academic scores and Title I concerns; Wasatch for perceived budget problems, though the Charter School Board also raised questions about teacher credential issues, and the transferability of credits from the school. It should be noted all teachers at the school are now listed as highly qualified.
Each school now has five days to request an informal hearing before the Utah State Charter School Board, who will review the action. If appealed and the termination upheld, the schools may appeal the decision to the Utah State Board of Education. The state board’s action is final, but subject to judicial review. If not appealed, the State Charter School Board could move to terminate the charters during its September meeting.
Parents of students currently enrolled in these schools who wish to find other options for this fall, may contact their local school district or either the Utah Association of Public Charter Schools at 801-836-7028 or the Utah Charter Network at 801-722-8911.