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Struggling Charter School’s Appeal To Idaho Board Of Education Likely Won’t Be Considered

North Star Charter School in Eagle has appealed the move by the Meridian School District to revoke its charter to the State Board of Education. But that appeal may be premature. It’s the latest move in what has become, to all parties, a maze of shifting and difficult to understand state law.

Meridian started the process of revocation last month saying the school it authorized 10 years ago is not financially stable. But the district has not actually revoked the document that allows North Star to operate.

Spokesman Eric Exline says the district can’t do that.

“Under the process outlined in state code when this began, you cannot revoke a charter until after a public hearing has been held,” Exline says. “The law changed on July 1, but we have been operating under the process outlined in code at the beginning.  After that public hearing, the [Meridian School] board could act to revoke the charter, or it could decide to remain the authorizer of North Star’s charter.”

A spokesperson for the State Board of Education says it cannot consider an appeal unless the district takes the final step and revokes North Star’s Charter.

Jim Miller, chair of North Star’s board of directors says holding a public hearing would be “silly” because he thinks Meridian trustees have no intention of changing their minds about revoking the charter.  Miller says Meridian has already violated procedure spelled out in state law on more than one occasion. So, he says, it’s now appropriate for the school to step outside the process and appeal directly to the state board. He says he doesn’t know what school officials will do next if the state board sends the appeal back unread.

Copyright 2013 Boise State Public Radio