Oxford Petitions For Writ Of Mandate Forcing Rechartering By CVUSD Board

Oxford Preparatory Academy has sought and obtained a temporary restraining order that puts on hold the shuttering of the school scheduled at the end of the month.
Superior Court Judge David Cohn granted Oxford’s petition for the stay last week. A hearing on the continuation of the hold on the school’s operations being discontinued is scheduled for June 23.
Oxford has been functioning as a charter school since it was granted a charter by the Chino Valley Unified School District in 2010 which was first applied for in 2009. After its students showed spectacular success on state-mandated and sponsored academic testing that put it at the top of all schools in San Bernardino County, Oxford’s charter was renewed in 2011 for the five school years thereafter, 2012-13 through 2016-17.
Oxford continued its exemplary academic performance and anticipated that its rechartering for another five years by the school board would be a formality in March 2016, but the board denied that renewal after district superintendent Wayne Joseph recommended against doing so based on his findings of financial wrongdoing by Sue Roche, the founder of Oxford whose educational formula was credited with the school’s success.
Oxford’s internal board appealed the school district’s decision to the San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools and to the California Department of Education, but was thwarted in both attempts. A state commissioned audit of Oxford found that Roche had, through the creation of for-profit entities she controlled, diverted $5.3 million in Oxford contracts to herself and her associates. Oxford disassociated itself from Roche and her business partners and sued her in an effort to convince decision-makers with the district, and state and county education officials to give the school license to continue operating. That did not succeed, however.
Last month, what seemed the end of the road for Oxford came when the California State Board of Education declined to take any action with regard to its final administrative appeal and petition to be rechartered. Contending that student academic achievement should be the primary consideration and that the rejection of the charter renewal petition last year was hurtful to the its students, Oxford Preparatory Academy on May 31, 2017 filed a “Verified Petition for Writ of Mandate, Writ of Prohibition, and Complaint for Injunctive Relief” against the Chino Valley Unified School District, the Governing Board of Chino Valley Unified School District and Mr. Wayne Joseph in his capacity as district superintendent in San Bernardino County Superior Court.
The writ seeks a court order that the district either approve the September 30, 2016 Oxford charter renewal petition with Chino Valley Unified or an order that the district re-evaluate the petition. Cohn on June 2 granted a temporary restraining order intended to maintain the status quo, as of May 31, 2017, until the court makes a final determination on Oxford’s writ petition.
Oxford board chairman Andrew Vestey said, “Our legal team took the first step of filing a writ of mandate with the Superior Court of San Bernardino to keep our school open. The court can make the decision to deny the writ, approve the renewal petition, or mandate Chino Valley Unified vacate their previous decision and reevaluate our renewal petition under the correct and legal standards.”
During a specially-called closed session of the Chino Valley Unified School District Board yesterday, Thursday June 8, the board unanimously voted to send its legal team to the June 23 hearing in San Bernardino Superior Court to oppose the legal action by Oxford.

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