Dear SCOE Board of Trustees: It has come to our attention that the Fortune School will be coming before the SCOE board to ask for a material revision of its charter. It is proposing a new school in Elk Grove School USD more than three miles from the "children's zone" identified in the original petition for a school location. Not only does this seem to go against its stated mission of locating in areas where the students in most need of their service reside, the location was approved by SCOE with no notification to Elk Grove USD. As stated by President Geeting in the SCOE minutes, the Fortune Charter School must come before the SCOE board to ask for a new charter for its third school due to a state decision about charter funding. We believe that the Fortune school should go before the individual districts where the schools are to be located to petition for their charter.
The recent court decision on the Aspire schools supports this. The decision, while pertaining to a statewide charter, is analogous to this situation. The Fortune School did not prove that they could not achieve their goals through locally chartered schools. They simply made that claim in their original petition and it was not disputed by SCOE. The countywide benefit they claimed is more for their ease of operation than for the students they plan to serve. Students could as easily attend a Fortune School chartered by the district it is located in.
The SCOE board should not approve this material revision of the Fortune charter. The Fortune school should not undermine the intent of charter school law by going directly to the County Office of Education for their charter. Individual districts have the right to hear these petitions and make the determination. Please see the link to the court decision below.
Kate Lenox, Secretary
Sacramento Coalition to Save Public Education