Board recommendation to deny Sierra Tahoe Academy
The Douglas County School Board will consider a recommendation today to deny a proposal for a charter school.
The board meets today, 3:30 p.m. at Kingsbury Middle School in Zephyr Cove.
Roy Casey, assistant superintendent at the district, said Sierra Tahoe Academy has not provided information the district requested.
Charlie Lincoln, who is under contract to the Sierra Tahoe Academy to operate the charter school, was surprised to hear of the recommendation and said the district is “game playing.”
Casey said the charter school was given partial approval of its full application in March by the school board, but has failed to address certain items.
Charter school representatives have not provided information about specific curriculum the charter school plans to offer, has some “inconsistencies” in its proposed budget, and has not provided a certificate of occupancy for the new school’s site, Casey said.
He said the proposed charter school site has not been “totally inspected and recognized as an education facility.”
And, he said it has not provided specific information about curriculum for each grade, and information about “activities, objectives and assessment” of the students.
In addition, Casey said the proposed budget the charter school submitted showed “some inconsistencies that would lend itself to disapproval.”
Lincoln said, on issues about curriculum and the proposed budget Casey is “totally incorrect.”
“I argue completely,” said Lincoln. “We have provided exactly what they requested in terms of curriculum and provided the budget on the required state forms by June.
“For them not to have notified us of inconsistencies seems pretty arbitrary.”
Lincoln said Sierra Tahoe Academy does need to acquire the occupancy certificate for the new school’s site at the former Bently Nevada headquarters at the center of Minden near the old creamery building. But he said Bently Properties, who owns the site, has promised to “do anything that needs to be done” to ensure the school opens on time Aug. 26.
The school district “has had four weeks to review,” materials supplied by the charter school, and “for them to wait until the last minute shows some lack of interest,” Lincoln said.
He said the charter school representatives plan to “have as many people as possible” at today’s meeting to prove to school board trustees that the charter school would be in the community’s best interest.
“When it comes down to it, the district personnel (who make the recommendation) are hired and have other interests other than serving the community,” he said. “But the trustees are elected to serve the community.
“We’ve been under the gun. There are a lot of things to do and the time is so short. We feel we’ve done everything possible.”
Lincoln is the owner of Morning Star Schools, the private, for-profit company, which operates similar charter operations in Arizona and California.
Sierra Tahoe Academy plans to offer classes for K-12 grades. If the board denies the application, Casey said the charter school has the opportunity to provide the necessary information at the next board meeting Aug. 13.