Stockton Unified School District to Authorize Acacia Schools

Acacia Charter Schools Petition Stockton Unified School District to Authorize Schools

Attempted Revocation of Charters by New Jerusalem Elementary School District Puts Students in Limbo

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 21, 2016

Contact: 
Chris Bertelli for TVLC
(916) 216-1705
cjbertelli@gmail.com

StocktonCA — Today, two Acacia charter schools currently authorized by the New Jerusalem Elementary School District submitted petitions to Stockton Unified School District asking that the district authorize them. New Jerusalem is currently threatening the Acacia schools with charter revocation three weeks prior to the start of the 2016-2017 school year. The schools are already physically located in Stockton Unified’s boundaries.

The schools continue to contest the New Jerusalem revocation effort and strongly feel that revocation is unwarranted.

“Our first priority is ensuring our students are in school on August 9 when classes start,” said Dr. Lynn Lysko, Interim CEO of Tri-Valley Learning Corporation, the organization that manages the two Acacia schools. “New Jerusalem’s actions have unnecessarily thrown nearly 700 students and their families in limbo. We are going to do what is necessary to protect them.”

In addition to turning out in significant numbers to a recent New Jerusalem board meeting to protest the attempted revocation, parents have expressed a desire for the schools to be authorized by a district that puts the interest of their kids and schools first.

“Our parents are, understandably, frustrated that their kids’ interests are secondary to issues unrelated to the academic performance of their schools,” continued Lysko. “We’re really proud of the academic progress the schools have made since their authorization. Stockton Unified has a strong history as an authorizer of high-quality, thriving charter schools and we feel like the Acacia schools would be a welcome fit in that environment.”

Stockton Unified’s website states a policy of not taking charter petitions in July, August or September. State law, however, does not provide that level of discretion for districts and the extraordinary circumstances of this petition merit immediate consideration.

State law does not provide for the transfer of schools from one district to another so while the schools petitioning for authorization from SUSD are the same as the ones currently authorized by New Jerusalem, they are petitioning under the following new names: Acacia Middle Charter School-Stockton and Acacia Elementary Charter School - Stockton.

Normally, state law provides for up to a 60-day process for the approval of charter schools. However, given the fact that the schools already exist and data are readily available, the process is expected to be completed in a much shorter period of time.