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Charter School Fighting Closure


Last updated 8/31/2015 at 11:29am

Oxford Preparatory Academy abruptly closed its campus last week after it was found to be operating without a legal charter in the Vista Unified School District, although it still hopes to reopen if Oceanside Unified approves its paperwork.

Oxford officials claim that they were able to set up their school within Vista Unified’s boundaries because its original charter had been approved by Borrego Springs Unified School District, allowing the academy to recruit students from anywhere in the county from where they are chartered. This allowed the small school to expand and open a larger campus at the New Venture church in Oceanside, about 80 miles from its chartering authority in Borrego Springs, yet still within the boundaries of Vista school district.

Borrego Springs has since made alterations to its rules and had planned to end its charter with Oxford in 2016, two years before it was set to expire. Borrego Springs Superintendent Martha Deichler confirmed the decision not to renew but has declined to say why.

Oceanside first rejected Oxford’s application in 2012, as did several other Southern California districts that have questioned the validity of the school’s paperwork citing a litany of problems with the application, including overstated enrolment projections, “unreasonable” spending estimates and a likelihood of having a discriminatory effect on minorities and poor families.

Monica Power, managing director of the Chino-based school, says she plans to reapply for a charter in Oceanside Unified, with the goal of reopening a physical campus for approximately 2,000 students in the 2016-2017 school year and that in the interim, parents of 157 students intend to take up Oxford’s offer of a home-based curriculum. Oxford currently receives approximately $9,000 from the state for each home-schooled student as well as a stipend of $600 per child.

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