For only the third time in its history of charter school appeals, the State Board of Education failed to gain a majority of votes to either affirm or remand a charter school appeal. The charter appellant was Lotus II appealing the denial of a new charter school application in the Jefferson County School District. The first motion was to affirm the decision of the local board and it failed 3-3. Then a motion was made to remand and that also failed 3-3.
The main issues of the case were poor academic achievement by the Lotus I school in Aurora, governance being all professionals without parent representation, and the experience with Lotus I being 6-11th grade and the Jeffco proposal being to begin with a K-5 grade.
Both sides presented growth and status CSAP data to support their arguments. They also argued which grade level comparisons were the most important--6th grade or 7th and 8th. Jeffco has almost all parent-governed charter schools whereas other districts in the state have a larger number of professional, or community professionals, serving on their charter boards. Jeffco claimed having parents on the governing board was an issue for them.
When a motion fails on a tie vote, there is no action taken by the State Board. Since the case needs to be made by the party bringing the appeal, the appeal is now done.