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Hart District nixes charter petition

Posted: February 7, 2013 9:19 a.m.
Updated: February 7, 2013 9:19 a.m.

Members of the William S. Hart Union High School District board voted unanimously Wednesday night to deny a petition to open a new seventh- and eighth-grade charter school in the district.

The petition came from the Apollo Public Schools organization, which was seeking to open its first charter school.

The school would have operated under a “blended learning” model, where portions of each school day are tailored to meet the needs of individual students, according to the charter petition.

Hart District spokeswoman Gail Pinsker said district officials and board members had numerous concerns with the petition.

“There were concerns about program design, implementation, budget and staffing to name a few,” Pinsker said.

Johnny Jin, the co-founder of Apollo Public Schools, said Wednesday he was not informed of the rationale for denying the petition prior to the board meeting.

“We are confident that our petition demonstrated sufficient evidence of a sound educational program and the capacity to implement our program successfully,” Jin said.

Jin said the organization has been working to secure wider community support since the board hearing on the petition on Dec. 16.

This included receiving letters of support from local representatives, including Congressman Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Santa Clarita, and state Sen. Steve Knight, R-Palmdale, Jin said.

The organization has also worked to secure more community partners and added new board members with ties to the Santa Clarita Valley, Jin said.

“We’ve done everything humanly possible to meet the concerns from the district,” Jin said.
Jin said he hopes to still work with the district and get the charter approved.
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