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SRC makes it official: Creighton to Universal, Hope Charter to close

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The School Reform Commission brought closure Friday to two running controversies from this spring, formally granting a charter for Universal Companies to run Creighton Elementary as a Renaissance charter and accepting a proposal from Hope Charter High School to close in 2013.

“We’re relieved,” said Shahied Dawan, chief financial officer at Universal. “We’re going to get in there and create a new climate in the school, start moving the school in the right direction.”

The awarding of a charter to Universal for Creighton was delayed this spring after the SRC agreed to consider a teacher-led turnaround proposal that Creighton’s School Advisory Council supported.

District officials shot down the plan, and the School Reform Commission voted in early June to match Universal with Creighton.  

Hope Charter, meanwhile, will stay open for the 2012-13 school year, but close after that.

In April, the SRC voted 4-0 for non-renewal of Hope’s charter, noting that it had received the lowest possible score on the District’s measure of quality, the School Performance Index. The 10-year-old school was established to serve the most at-risk students.

Last week, Hope made the decision to waive its legal right to appeal the SRC’s decision. Instead, it submitted the negotiated resolution that was approved.

Friday’s meeting is in recess until 6 p.m. Saturday, when the SRC will reconvene to authorize a resolution related to tax revenues. The SRC cannot proceed officially on the matter until the Pennsylvania state budget is finalized. 

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