County Board Denies Petition to Open Menifee Prep School

For the second time, an application to open the Menifee Valley Preparatory School was denied today.

The petition by Heritage Charter Classical Schools to the Riverside County Office of Education was an appeal of an earlier denial by the Menifee Union School District. Despite the denials, officials are confident they will eventually be able to meet the strict requirements of both the school district and the RCOE.

"Overall, the RCOE board did not deny the MVP petition forever -- they just said 'no' to our first draft," Scott Phillips, Headmaster of the school, wrote in an email to parents of prospective students after the ruling. "But more importantly, they also gave us great advice on how to draft the petition so that they are comfortable with it.

"As I share this, I want to make sure that I also communicate our petition was not a 'bad' petition. In fact, the board president and vice president affirmed the fact that it met all statutory legal requirements."

According to Phillips, the board is asking the petitioner to come back with more specific information about the school's classical program and the common core alignment, plus the student services program, specifically the part that deals with English Language Learners. He also stated several "positives" in his email to parents:

-- The board recognized the parent demand for MVP and specifically stated that they believe in parent choice.
-- The board affirmed its commitment to charter schools in general.
-- Board members provided some specific guidance on what to do with the petition so they could approve it.

"I do not believe this is even a 'setback.' This was more akin to 'round one,' " Phillips continued. "So what does this mean today? Simply, we are going to take the positives, we are going to write a new petition, and we are going to re-file it in Menifee as soon as possible.

"We still have time to get this done and have the Menifee Valley Preparatory School doors open in August 2014."

Phillips also thanked the large crowd of parents who attended today's meeting to speak on behalf of the proposed school.




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