New Charter School Rejected

The plan for the school was shoddy, a school report states.


An application to open a new charter school in Temecula was rejected.

The voted unanimously to reject the charter application for the Center for Innovation on Tuesday.

The center currently runs as a program within Julien Charter School, though the teachers and founder of the program, Sue Miller Hurst, want to break away and form a separate school.

"We want to align the vision (of the program) all the way through (the school)," Miller Hurst said after the meeting Tuesday.

Miller Hurst got the report recommending the rejection last week, she said. "When I received this report, I was shocked," she told the Board of Trustees during the meeting. "It felt condescending. I felt it was mocking me. It was full of inaccuracies."

To read the report, click on the PDF file attached to this story.

The report cites as a central reason for the rejection Miller Hurst's role in the failure of a charter school in Bonsall.

She had nothing to do with the failure, Miller Hurst told the board. "They (the school's board) created the financial issues that defeated that charter," she said.

Last month, parents and teachers crowded the board room to . The board room was equally crowded Tuesday, though the mood was more hostile.

Audience members groaned and grumbled loudly as the board and staff members discussed the charter. At one point, an audience member ranted at the board, causing a school official to briefly stop the meeting to ask him to stop.

One board member said he saw no point in granting a charter to a program that was already running successfully. "My biggest concern is that they already exist," Trustee Vince O'Neal said. "Why would this district want to destroy a school that exists in another district?"

After the trustees rejected the charter, the room filled with angry chatter as the audience filed out of the room. One man shouted, "Shame on all of you," as he walked away.

The audience gathered outside the board room to talk about the decision.

"I'm super upset. I have two children in the school," said Alissa Barrera, a mother of a fourth grader and a kindergartener. "We're going to do whatever it takes to stay in the program."

The rejection comes in the wake of the failure of another charter, .

after being open for only a few months, leaving the district with the financial burden of educating the students for the rest of the year.

The recent debacle clouded the board's judgement, Miller Hurst said. "I think they might be gun-shy," she said. "I feel like they wrote this as though I were the other director (of Context)."

Many of the teachers in the crowd said they plan to leave Julien Charter School after the year ends because the director, Jennifer Cauzza, creates a "toxic environment."

Alan Salls March 22, 2012 at 01:36 PM
When will all this Charter School business end? "Financial mismanagement led the school to close" DO AWAY with the public school system, which has proven for the last 20+ years that it's broke, primarily do to financial mismanagement. Put the financial management of our children's education in the hands of their parents (although I will admit, SOME of them won't do very well with financial management either, but at least then they won't have anyone to blame for their kids' failure but themselves). Put your kids in private schools and control your and there destiny yourselves!
Alan Salls March 22, 2012 at 01:42 PM
Sorry, I meant to say above "Do away with the public school system, which has proven for the last 20+ years that it's BROKEN", not broke. Fingers not fully awake yet this morning! :(
Terri Jones March 22, 2012 at 01:59 PM
Alan, we all can't afford private schools. I have a middle schooler doing beautifully through an online charter and a 2nd grader excelling at Keegan Academy. Where do your children attend?
Temecula momma March 22, 2012 at 02:24 PM
@Terri, I am a mother of an ex-Context student. We are looking for a Charter for next School year. Is Keegan a good choice? My son will be going into 7th grade. Thanks...
Alan Salls March 22, 2012 at 02:27 PM
As the system stands, of course we all can't all afford private schools. But if you were not paying taxes (MEGA taxes!) to fund a broken public school system, you would have the money for a private school. Not to mention the fact that the soaring enrollment in private schools would cause competition, which usually results in lower prices and higher quality, because the private schools would have to compete for your dollars and your children. My kids attend Rancho Christian. I am not saying everyone should send their children to a religious based school either - that's just my personal choice. There are already good secular schools in our area too - like Hillcrest, for example. If the public school system & it's taxation went away, there would be an explosion of new private schools. Primary and secondary education would become a competitive business, and the benefits to our children would be amazing.
Terri Jones March 22, 2012 at 02:28 PM
Yes! Please contact Inna Peart or Sonja Clause at 951-595-9095. Here is their contact form as well: http://www.keeganacademy.org/ContactUs.aspx
V.W.D.S. March 22, 2012 at 05:34 PM
my child was taken out of Temecula's public school system and placed in an online school system outside of Temecula. The improvement in her ability to concentrate, the time and desire to pursue topics in depth and the flexibility it offers has done wonders not only for her grades but for her self esteem. Not all kids thrive in a regimented environment and sadly I have raised three children in Temecula's public system and was getting more disgusted with quality the last few years. More money, less education, less learning for our kids. I am grateful to have found this online school which is a public school and funded by public funds just as a regular school.
V.W.D.S. March 22, 2012 at 05:36 PM
I might also add to my comment that as a parent I have more involvement in her day to day tasks which I really enjoy. At public school I only got to see homework, quarterly grades and conferences that were based on an overview of her work. With online school I see exactly what she is to accomplish and how she goes about it which enables me to guide and direct her daily as opposed to quarterly.
Temecula-is-my-Home March 22, 2012 at 05:51 PM
Parents do need to be more involved in their children's education. The reality is that the majority of parents are so busy with their nose stuck in Work that they don't have the capacity to be involved. I do believe that this is Backwards, but it is how some people live, and chose to live with out even considering their are other options. Public school is a babysitting program for the kids who's parents can not take the time/ energy to focus on their kids education. I do not think it will ever go away for it is there for the masses. Luckily we live in an area that Does have a pretty good school system And the choice of private and Charter schools. It is such a blessing! I work for TVUSD and the more I am there the more I see the flaws. As for this Charter. I say Get Rid of this 'toxic' director and appoint who will do a better job and be aligned with the teachers and parents vision. TVUSD is in a tough situation all over the place. Context was a huge fail, with a majority of the students leaving AFTER the parents made the decision to have TVUSD take it over. It was unknown how things would go, but it is a ding to the district. They also this year have to open a transitional Kinder program they do NOT get any funding for- Money is TIGHT.. but somehow their are administrators making over $100,000/ yr. Like I said it is a backwards system! Here's a proposal: http://articles.businessinsider.com/2011-08-29/news/29974475_1_school-budget-cuts-school-superintendent-teacher
Cik Bast March 23, 2012 at 04:01 AM
Public School Systems in general have been a shockingly tragic systems of crap for many years, lead by and taken advantage of by incompetent system managers that fleece the community of cash for lazy, unionized, entitlement-minded teachers. Privatize the system and run it like any business with checks & balances as well as a teaching metrics system, and the good & valuable teachers will rise to the top while the weak ones can run the library.
Alan Salls March 23, 2012 at 05:49 AM
I like it! :)
TVOR March 23, 2012 at 04:24 PM
There need to be very strict standards for charter schools to operate under. Many of them fail due to mismanagement. Any private school requesting a charter should be required to have the means to operate for a school year up front. There must be strict oversight to ensure a bad administrator can't take down the whole house of cards like what happened at Context.
Popeye March 23, 2012 at 04:45 PM
Since we are talking about standards, why are there so many pedofiles in the public school system.
Alan Salls March 23, 2012 at 05:04 PM
Good question! Maybe because the system is BROKEN? Possible solution? See the first comment under this article. :)
Terri Jones March 23, 2012 at 05:09 PM
I doubt that's what Ben Franklin had in mind when he created libraries.
Concerned Parent March 26, 2012 at 02:01 AM
My kids currently attend Julian charter, the woman in this story started the program that Julian is currently using. She was let go during the summer with no warning but we as parents have been receiving emails from the current director that had nothing but nasty things to say about Sue Miller-Hurst. Ms. Miller-Hurst has decided to move on and open her own charter. She has been met with strong opposition and at times hostility. We have come to find out that it is a new trend to refuse new charter petitions...it is not just happening here but all over the state. There are law firms popping up in California that are specializing in working with school districts to deny charter requests (Google charter denials in California). It is just a matter of time before charter schools will be a thing of the past. The current ones will be forced to eventually close because they will be denied renewals. In our case here, we found out the Temecula school district had hired such a law firm that worked in putting together this "Report" and the school board had actually not even read Ms. Miller-Hurst's petition. I shudder to think what may be next...to out law home schooling???
Stephanie March 26, 2012 at 08:58 PM
Fear and politics rule this game. Who approved our tax dollar money to be used to fund these lawyers? A charter school which is also a public school shines light on the flaws of our current public school system. Public schools are in denial and cannot handle another system that has proven to better educate our children. I was afraid to use the word "competition" here but understand our children will benefit from this. For example, you're allowing the parents to chose the better school. If school C is producing poorer test results and ill prepared students, parents can choose to go to school A. Why not give them their choice? Current public schools are in fear that another system will ruin their cemented union. This mentality goes against nature. When society ignores the errors in their ways and fail to make changes our children suffer. I admire the teachers who made a sacrifice out of principal to leave their position in support of what is right.


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