Posted by Steven Levin on September 03, 2015 at 2:27 PM
Orange County has recently seen a flurry of charter school activity - both at the district and county level. In recent years, charters schools have faced resistance to growth from districts such as Santa Ana Unified, Orange Unified, and Saddleback Valley Unified School Districts - all of which have rejected petitions of well-established and successful charter school operators. In July, the Saddleback Valley Unified school board rejected a petition by Oxford Preparatory Academy – an academy with successful schools in multiple districts across the county.
Despite such setbacks, and thanks to efforts by CCSA members, parents, and educators, charters still flourish in the County. In particular, Santa Ana Unified School District has become a “nucleus” for charters. The predominantly Latino community leads the county in the number of charter schools, with 8 of the county’s 18 campuses and another on the way.
And just last week, the Orange County Board of Education approved on appeal the petitions of two new charter schools that had been rejected by their local districts: Santa Ana College Prep, run by Ednovate Inc., and Unity Middle College High School, run by Oakland-based Unity Schools. Both schools were approved on unanimous 4-0 votes. As the Orange County Register editorialized: “The big winners will be the kids. Both charters will serve areas with numerous low-income families, many of which are recent immigrants.”