Having dodged a bullet last August, the Red Bank Charter School has now gotten a green light to continue operating for another five years, the Asbury Park Press reports today.
From the story, by Larry Higgs:
The best news came for the Red Bank Charter School that its charter has been renewed for another five years in a letter that sat in a fax machine “in basket” since Friday.
“That’s the best news I’ve heard all year; I’m very excited,” said parent Christopher Hansen, 39, of Madison Avenue. “I know they’d get through their difficulties and move ahead. Five years is fantastic.”
In the Dec. 29 letter, state Education Commissioner Lucille E. Davy told officials that the renewal was based on the Oakland Street school’s academic progress, ongoing improvements and the commitment by the board of trustees and administration.
“We are thrilled,” said Meredith Pennotti, school principal.
The fortunes of the alternative public school have been soaring in recent months. Just six months ago, it appeared on the brink of financial disaster, facing a $1 million fine imposed in May, 2005 for what state officials ruled were violations of bidding laws in conection with the Oakland Street school’s renovations.
That penalty was later slashed to $55,0000, and the state agreed to allow the school to pay the fine over five years.
The Press also has a story about plans by the Red Bank Board of Education to manage “a calmer school-budgeting process this year, designed to keep all interested parties informed and eliminate rumors of staff cuts, which were rampant during the drafting of last year’s budget.”