Judge upholds Azleway charter revocation

Judge upholds Azleway charter revocation

TYLER (KYTX) - The decision to revoke the Azleway school's charter has been upheld. But the battle isn't over yet -- the school can fight this. Azleway Boys Ranch provides a home for boys in foster care. Tuesday's decision by the State Office of Administrative hearings wouldn't impact housing -- just the boys' education.

CBS 19's Katiera Winfrey explains what the revocation means for the charter school.

Tuesday's decision follows months filled with appeals, injunctions and other delays --- after the Texas Education Agency's initial decision last December.

Azleway and five other charter schools statewide -- were slated to have their charters revoked -- after failing to meet certain academic and financial standards. Now those with azleway are working to figure out what's next.

The commissioners decision to revoke Azleway's charter is upheld. was printed in the court order making the announcement. The charter schools three campuses will have to be shut down and its students absorbed into another district.

In February -- Azleway CEO Gary Duke expressed concern for the children -- who need educators who understand their difficult backgrounds.

"It's just really a tragedy in many ways for these kids."

Senate Bill 2 passed last September -- requiring mandatory revocation of a charter based on failure to meet academic or financial accountability standards -- for three preceding school years. When we first talked to him in December duke was shocked.

"We were not expecting this at all."

But Azleway fit the criteria for revocation:

It received an "academically unacceptable" rating during the 2010-11 school year and a financial accountability performance rating of "substandard achievement" during the 2011-12 and 2012-13 school years.

"We were late in submitting our annual audit. We had some internal difficulties in terms of the loss of our chief financial officer and we just couldn't get it done in time," Duke said.

Chapel Hill ISD Superintendent Donni Cook told CBS 19 in February -- her district could step in and take over.

"We're ready, willing and able."

About 150 Azleway students would become students of Chapel Hill -- but because classrooms are pretty full, one possibility is continuing to provide education on the Azleway campus.

"We provide textbooks, all the instructional things, we provide the staff."

But no decision is final yet.

(TYLER MORNING TELEGRAPH) - The decision to revoke Azleway Charter School's charter has been upheld.

In a decision released today, administrative law Judge William G. Newchurch upheld Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams' decision to revoke the Tyler area charter school's charter.

It is unclear what, if any, immediate effect this decision will have. The charter school's three campuses started classes for this school year last week, and school officials had been fighting the revocation in Travis County District Court and the Third Court of Appeals.

Azleway operates three campuses: at Chapel Hill, Big Sandy and Willow Bend. The process for revocation was established under Senate Bill 2. The law requires revocation if a charter holder fails to meet certain academic or financial standards for the three preceding school years.

Azleway received an "Academically Unacceptable" rating during the 2010-11 school year, and a financial accountability performance rating of "Substandard Achievement" during the 2011-12 and 2012-13 school years.

School officials contended that some of these ratings were incorrect. However, Azleway officials have been preparing for this possibility and talking with other nearby school districts regarding the future of Azleway students.

About 150 students ages 6 to 23 attended the three Azleway campuses, according to information provided by the school in February.

The revocation decision does not affect the Azleway boys' homes, which are a separate entity.


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