A California Superior Court judge today ruled that two Magnolia Public Schools (MPS) charters can remain open, blocking LA Unified’s effort to shut them down over financial concerns.
The decision by Judge Luis A. Lavin enables Magnolia Science Academy 6 in Palms and Magnolia Science Academy 7 in Van Nuys to welcome students back next month as scheduled. And they can continue to operate as if their charters had been renewed by the district.
Lavin’s ruling hinged on the language of the conditional approval as it was articulated at a March district school board meeting, when the members voted to renew the charters, pending a review of the schools’ finances.
Records from the meeting indicate that the school board intended to review a staff investigation into the schools’ financial status, he wrote. But the decision to deny the renewals was based on staff findings of financial malfeasance, not the Board’s vote to renew or deny the schools’ charters, based on the staff report.
The judge effectively ruled that the district did not act properly in acting on a staff recommendation, rather than a Board review.