Pittsburg expected to lose only charter school

PITTSBURG, Calif. (KGO) -- The East Bay city of Pittsburg may soon lose its only charter school. Parents are now looking for other options after the SEP High School announced plans to close next month.

Very little information has been given to the parents and the press about this possible closure, but pending a miracle, the school is not expected to survive. Many, including the California Department of Education, are now involved and have plan B in place. The alternative would be to transfer many of the SEP students to other schools.

SEP High School is located in a Pittsburg strip mall. While the location may not be ideal, parents have been pleased with the results.

"This school works with her, whereas the other schools don't have the time because they have too many students," parent Helen Kinmom said.

The charter school is an arts and pre-college school serving kids from six grade through 12. A few days ago parents received two letters, one from their school saying the entire board had resigned and the other from the company that manages the school -- Encore Education Corporation in Southern California --stating they could not operate without a board. Without a board or a management company, the school is slated to close on November 18.

The school referred us to their lawyers, again in Southern California, who said they wouldn't comment.

ABC7 News found out in 2012 the Pittsburg Unified School District had denied their request for a charter. The school then appealed to the Contra Costa Office of Education, they too, said no.

"The county office was concerned about number one their funding plan, they also didn't have a location identified at the time," Terry Koehne from the Contra Costa County Office of Education said.

At the time the county was also worried about the school's education plan. The school ended up appealing to the Calif. Department Of Education which eventually granted them the charter, allowing them to operate.

If they close, some of the nearby districts will have to absorb these students.

"We welcome all students. We want to make sure is that we do a really good job to make their transition smooth," Pittsburg Unified superintendent Janet Schulze said.

If it closes there will be no charter schools in Pittsburg.
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