A three-member select committee of the Loudoun School Board has voted against recommending that the full panel approve what would be the first public charter school in the county because of questions
involving curriculum and other operational issues.
Two of the committee members, Jill Turgeon and Brenda Sheridan, voted Thursday night to recommend denial of the application to open the Loudoun Math & IT Academy, while Jeff Morse voted to recommend a “delay for cause” on the application. This vote is non-binding and the application now goes to the full board, which had been expected to vote on the application in February. Whether that happens now is unclear.
The three committee members each gave reasons for their decisions, which were centered on a range of issues that came up in a series of recent hearings. The applicants, a group of Turkish men, most of whom run a controversial Anne Arundel County charter school, failed to answer key questions to the satisfaction of the committee members.
There was very little said about another issue that has concerned some Loudoun parents, the applicants’ possible connections to a network of public charter schools inspired by a Turkish Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen. The applicants have said they are not connected to Gulen. You can read more about that here
In recent days the proposed school has lost support from several elected Loudoun officials who had earlier backed it, including Supervisor Geary M. Higgins.
Valerie Strauss covers education and runs The Answer Sheet blog.