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UPDATE: SLO County charter school's move to Paso Robles approved

Posted at 9:45 AM, Sep 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-04 18:36:48-04

UPDATE (Sept. 4, 2020) - Almond Acres Charter Academy will be able to move to Paso Robles.

The San Luis Obispo County Board of Education approved the school's petition on Thursday.

(Sept. 3, 2020) - A petition to expand Almond Acres Charter Academy to Paso Robles, a public charter school in the San Miguel area since 2012, is in the hands of the county on Thursday.

In a press release, Almond Acres stated it wanted to expand into Paso Robles but faces denial from the San Luis Obispo County Office of Education's Board of Trustees.

Currently, the tuition-free K-8 school operates under the authorization of the San Miguel Joint Union School District which was recently renewed through June 2022 and claims to have 305 students enrolled.

Back in April, the Paso Robles Joint Unified School District took no action on the petition. The academy submitted an appeal in June. A public meeting took place in August with supporters urging the board to grant the petition.

The board's findings state the Academy's petition "of its education program is not reasonably comprehensive" for a number of reasons including inadequacies in its projected school size, targeted student population, special education, and annual goals.

A review by the County Office of Education also found the charter school provided "little growth, and several declines, in academic performance in English/Language Arts and Mathematics."

"This denial is based on the incorrect financial concerns as well as false claims that Almond Acres Charter Academy will not be able to function as a successful school," Ed Surber, AACA board member, stated in a press release. "Almond Acres Charter Academy has served hundreds of families for eight years under the guidance and support of James Brescia. Suddenly, and under false pretenses, he is recommending that our petition is denied, which threatens the school's survival."

AACA leaders warn the school may be faced with closure if the petition is denied.

The meeting is set to begin at 1:30 p.m. and can be viewed online.