The board voted 4-1 Tuesday to deny Chino-based Oxford Preparatory's petition to open its third campus, which would have been known as The Academy of Oxford Prep - Pomona.
School board member Andrew Wong cast the opposing vote.
The decision followed a lengthy presentation by a consultant who reviewed the petition and various district administrators.
The consultant and district administrators said the proposal failed to meet 11 out of 20 required elements spelled out in the state Education Code related to charter school programs.
Areas of concern include the proposed school's budget, curriculum, facilities, governance and school climate.
As of Wednesday, Oxford Prep officials had not determined if they will go to the Los Angeles County Office of Education and appeal the school board's decision.
"We haven't made a definitive decision," said Sue Roche, Oxford Prep's chief executive officer.
Oxford Prep has a strong program and a track record that demonstrates its students excel academically, she said.
"We have data showing we are closing the achievement gap," Roche said.
Last year, Oxford's Chino campus scored 972 out of a maximum 1,000 in the Academic Performance Index, the high score of any San Bernardino County school. Its Mission Viejo campus scored 993.
Before the school board made its decision, five of the district's top administrators went through Oxford Prep's proposal.
Among the concerns were questions as to what corporation would operate the charter school.
Oxford Preparatory Academy operates the Chino and Mission Viejo schools, but the Academy of Oxford Prep-Pomona is a different corporate entity, which does not have non-profit status, said Laurel Adler, a consultant who reviewed the petition.
Adler also raised the issue that although the petition talked about the use of multiple intelligence and other educational learning theories, it did not contain information such as course outlines or other details on how they would be used to teach students.
Oxford Preparatory's proposal did not have information "to give ideas of what the curriculum would be" at the high school level, Adler said.
High school is an academic level that Oxford Prep does not offer at its Chino or Mission Viejo campuses.
Among the concern was how Oxford would address the educational needs of English language learners, which make up a large part of Pomona Unified's students, and economically disadvantaged students as well as how it would provide its faculty and staff appropriate professional development, said Stephanie Baker, deputy superintendent of instructional services.
District administrators had questions as to how the charter school would provide services to special education students since it would apply to the El Dorado County Office of Education in Northern California to be part of its special education local plan area, Baker said.
Oxford Prep's budget was also a source of concern.
Leslie Barnes, the district's assistant superintendent for business services and chief financial officer, said the charter school proposal had plans to use a loan to begin operations but fails to detail how it would be paid back.
In addition, it set unrealistic low expenditures in several areas including textbook purchases, supplies and equipment, Barnes said.
The proposal doesn't say if Oxford Prep would open in a new building or would lease a structure, but, regardless of which option it used, the budget had unrealistically low maintenance expenditures, Barnes said.
Roche said Wednesday it had not identified a site for the charter school because its petition had not been approved yet.
She said Oxford Prep was prepared to provide additional information to the school district and answer questions before it completed its review of the petition but was not contacted.
Roche added "the information presented was not reflective of a charter school that we run," she said.
During the public comment period, Juan Murillo, a Pomona resident with children at Garey High School, said he and other parents like himself have built relationships across the community.
Oxford did not appear to have relationships with parents in the area and did not have an understanding of the families' needs or desires.
"I feel this (proposal) is not going to benefit all these people that I know, all these students that I know, all these parents that I know," he said.
Lucia Merida, a parent who supports Oxford, urged the school board to approve Oxford Prep's petition.
"A vote against this opportunity is tantamount to a vote for the status quo," Merida said.
Parents should have educational choices and should be given the chance to determine what educational option is best for their children, she said.
Wong said he favors giving parents options but had some concerns about Oxford Prep's efforts "about outreaching and ensuring the community has a voice and wants a program like" Oxford's.
Also on his mind was whether the proposed charter school would truly reflect the district's demographics involving English language learners, economically disadvantage students and ethnic diversity.
Wong said the proposed charter school that served grades K-8 could have a role in the district as a dependent charter where district parents, labor groups and others would play a part in developing it's programs.
Board member Frank Guzman said he visited Oxford's campuses.
"Although I respect what (Oxford Prep) has to offer ... something is missing," Guzman said adding he couldn't put his finger on just what that was.
After speaking with parents and reflecting on his own experience with committed teachers as a Pomona Unified student, making a decision on the proposal "is not hard for me."
Roche said all students would be welcome to apply for a seat at Oxford.
"We serve anyone that applies," she said but she added in the end students are selected by lottery and it's impossible to say who will draw a space.