Three Charter Schools Must Correct Deficiencies

Washoe County School District
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The Washoe County School Board has put three charter schools on notice after an annual review found non-compliance with several regulations.

Bailey Charter Elementary School, Coral Academy of Science and Sierra Nevada Academy fail to comply with terms of charter agreements with the district, a district committee found.

Student performance was deemed satisfactory at Bailey and Coral, but unsatisfactory at Sierra Nevada.

The schools were given 30 days to correct deficiencies in areas ranging from safety to financial stability.

Under state law, the board then could start the 90-day process leading to charter revocation if the problems go uncorrected.

School officials say they have already begun to fix the problems, and the district's reviews appear to be stricter this year.

"This is the first year they really refined what they're looking for," Sierra Nevada Administrator Kim Regan told the Reno Gazette-Journal.

Among financial questions raised at Bailey is whether the school can meet rent payments and a projected budget deficit of $242,000. The school has 276 students.

Coral, which has 179 sixth- through ninth-graders, didn't meet safety codes and make teacher record books available, a report found. Thirty-four percent of its teachers work outside the area of their license, more than the state limit of 30 percent.

Sierra Nevada was accused of offering incomplete class record books and failing to enroll kindergarten students with age requirements. The school has 307 elementary and middle school students.

Three other charter schools - Academy for Career Education, High Desert Montessori and Mariposa Academy of Language and Learning - were found to comply with regulations.

Charter schools are funded by tax dollars. They are empowered to use innovative teaching methods, but must adhere to most of the same financial and education standards as public schools.

Under state law, school districts have the power to revoke their charter if standards are not met.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)