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UPDATE: Einstein Academy withdraws appeal, plans to re-submit it

Posted: February 12, 2013 4:04 p.m.
Updated: February 12, 2013 6:40 p.m.

The Albert Einstein Academy for Letters, Arts and Sciences dropped its appeal to win an elementary school charter from the Saugus Union School District, a spokesman said Tuesday.

But it plans to resubmit its petition for a charter school contract to the district that has already turned it down three times.

Members of the Los Angeles County Board of Education were set to rule Tuesday on Einstein’s bid to overturn Saugus Union’s latest charter school denial. But Einstein officials pulled the petition at the last minute. Board of Education staff members had recommended the board deny the appeal.

Jeffrey Shapiro, the executive director of the Einstein Academy’s foundation, said the decision to withdraw the petition and start anew was made after suggestions from county officials during the past week.

The Board of Education had been scheduled to vote on the appeal last week, but the matter was put over at Einstein’s request.

Shapiro told The Signal he could not give specifics on what, exactly, would be changed in the new petition.

Shapiro said the revised petition for an elementary school charter contract will be delivered to the Saugus Union district within a week or so.

District board members voted 4-1 to deny the charter petition on Oct. 16. It was the third time the Saugus district denied an elementary school charter petition from the Einstein Academy, which is operating a school for seventh grade through high school chartered by the William S. Hart Union High School District.

Shapiro said he fully expects the Saugus district to deny a revised petition, which would require officials from both entities to appear before the Board of Education at a later date.

“I believe the Saugus district has made it very clear they will not accept a petition from us,” Shapiro said. “We’re not anticipating that they will come around on the matter.”

Saugus district Superintendent Joan Lucid said the district would not be fundamentally opposed to granting Einstein a charter.

“The Saugus Union School District will always follow the rules and regulations as set forth by the state of California,” Lucid said.

But, Lucid said, the county Board of Education should have voted on Einstein’s appeal on Tuesday.

“The report that was provided by the county supported (the Saugus district’s) findings overall, and that should have been decided,” Lucid said. “This is the second time (Einstein Academy officials) have withdrawn a petition because they have not been able to secure county approval.”

Shapiro estimated that Einstein will be back before the Board of Education within 60 days.
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