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School Board Denies Charter Expansion

Sonora, CA — The Tuolumne County Board of Education voted down a proposal related to the expansion of a charter school program.

The Foothill Leadership Academy opened a charter school this year in the 19000 block of Susan Way. Up for vote at this week’s countywide Board of Education meeting was whether to ok a plan that would allow satellite locations in other areas of the county. Superintendent of Schools Joe Silva says the Foothill Leadership group primarily spoke about the desire to have a site in Pinecrest, as the Pinecrest Elementary School was closed by the Twain Harte Long Barn School District years ago due to budget cuts.

Some spoke in favor of Foothill Leadership Academy’s proposal at this week’s meeting, but in the end, the countywide benefit charter proposal was voted down, 4-2.

“Our board voted it down, and it was for a real simple reason,” says Silva. “The petitioners had not approached the Twain Harte Board. The idea that they have for a charter there, could be successful, if the Twain Harte Board says yes, about opening the school in Pinecrest. Our Board said that they need to approach the Twain Harte Board, and it was voted down.”

Silva notes the petition by Foothill Leadership for a countywide charter stated they would like to eventually operate sites in the Twain Harte Long Barn District, Sonora and Curtis Creek.

This week’s decision does not impact Foothill Leadership Academy’s existing school in East Sonora.