PLEASANT HILL -- The Contra Costa County Board of Education voted 4-1 on Wednesday in favor of a petition to open a Summit K2 Charter School in El Cerrito.

The proposal generated substantial controversy in the West Contra Costa school district, where the district board voted 4-1 in August to deny it, based on concerns that the school might not recruit students from low-income areas or have an adequate transportation plan for faraway students.

The County Office of Education staff recommended approval of the charter, in part based on the fact that West Contra Costa district staff had recommended its approval but was overruled by its board. Charters are not required to prepare transportation plans for students, county staff found.

Further, county staff said the petition presented a sound educational program with a realistic financial and operational plan, meeting legal requirements to establish a charter.

However, staff recommended that the board impose several conditions on the charter: Submit an English Learner Master Plan; a revised budget; a report of the racial and ethnic composition of student enrollment on or before Aug. 30, 2014; revised expulsion policies and procedures; and a report demonstrating compliance with the conditions by May 30, 2014.

Summit will serve 700 students in grades 7-12 within six years at the site of the former Windrush School at 1800 Elm St. Summit currently operates two schools in San Jose, two in Redwood City, one in Sunnyvale and one in Daly City.


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Its original campus in Redwood City was ranked 82nd in the country and 11th in the state in a recent U.S. News and World Report survey of public schools.

Theresa Harrington covers education. Contact her at 925-945-4764. Follow her at Twitter.com/tunedtotheresa, www.ibabuzz.com/onassignment or Facebook.com/TheresaHarringtonBANG.

MORE INFORMATION
To see the Contra Costa County Board of Education staff report recommending conditional approval of the Summit K2 charter, visit www.contracostatimes.com/education.