SANTA CLARA -- Despite concerns about its finances, Magnolia Science Academy won a renewal of its charter to continue operating.

On Wednesday the Santa Clara County Board of Education granted a five-year extension for the public charter, which has more than 500 students in grades 6 though 9.

The school, located in Santa Clara, has had a negative cash flow, poor fiscal accounting and a problem with internal controls, according to Micaela Ochoa, chief business officer for the Santa Clara County Office of Education, which oversees the charter. Before cementing an agreement with the county office, the school will have to get its fiscal house in order, the county school board ordered. But on academic issues, the board complimented the school, which stresses science and math.

About 30 parents, teachers and children spoke to the board in praise of Magnolia's teaching and programs.

The county board voted 5 to 1, with trustee Anna Song dissenting, to extend the charter. Trustee Darcie Green abstained.

The school is one of 12 in the state run by the Magnolia Educational & Research Foundation.

-- Sharon Noguchi, staff