Today the Colorado Board of Education voted unanimously to grant exclusive chartering authority to Westminster 50 and Colorado Springs 11.
Westminster 50 asked for exclusive chartering authority the first year of the law, in 2004, but they were denied because they had violated an order of the state board and had a moratorium on the number of charter schools in their district. In 2000 the district heard an application from Despain Academy and denied it. The charter applicant then took it to the state board on appeal and were successful two times. The second time the state board ordered the district to open the charter school and the district refused. The district has one charter school, Crown Pointe Academy, that serves grades K-8. Adjacent to Crown Pointe is a charter school authorized by the state Charter School Institute: Ricardo Flores Magon Academy. Although this charter school's charter is K-8, it started two years ago as a K-2 school.
The other district to receive exclusive chartering authority was Colorado Springs 11. This district serves the heart of Colorado Springs. It has 6 of its own charter schools and 7 CSI schools operate within its boundaries. The district has a reputation of treating its charters very fairly by including them in bond questions and assisting them in identifying facilities.
Randy DeHoff, who represents the 6th Congressional District on the state board recused himself from today's votes on exclusive chartering authority because he also works as Executive Director of the Charter School Institute. Randy helped start Collegiate Academy in 1994.