San Francisco charter school renewal running into resistance 

A San Francisco charter school that has broken ties with a controversial national company is making its third try this school year to win renewal of its charter.

Edison Charter Academy’s charter is scheduled to run out this school year, but some board members say the school should have reapplied as a new charter school after it broke away from its controversial parent company.

In March 2010, the arts-focused school serving 521 K-8 students agreed to part from the for-profit Edison Learning of New York. The corporation was largely known for attempts to privatize schools, among other issues.

Since the break, the school has been trying to revamp itself as “community-based.”

The San Francisco Board of Education denied Edison’s charter renewal application in February, but the school has since reapplied. School Board member Jill Wynns said the main issues were around the school’s budget and business plan, not its curriculum.

Wynns said she has been dealing with the controversy around Edison for 20 years and does not want to support the charter school.

“It’s left a bad taste in the mouth of the community,” she said.

Edison officials said if the charter is not renewed by San Francisco they will seek one from the state. The change would not make a difference for operations, Edison Principal Adrienne Morrell said.

“We’re moving forward,” she said. “The board members seem to have some affinity with past issues, but we’ve gone beyond that. We just want to keep doing what we’re doing.”

This evening, the San Francisco Unified School District budget committee will discuss the future of the school for the third time this school year. A vote, however, will not take place until a special meeting scheduled for Tuesday.

akoskey@sfexaminer.com

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