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School Board to tackle charter school in February

The School Board will make the final decision about whether or not the proposed Loudoun Math & IT Academy (LMITA) charter school can open by the end of February.

The charter school, modeled after the Chesapeake Science Point Academy in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, would serve as STEM and IT-focused school for sixth through 12th grades.

The school was previously evaluated by the school system, which in its report labeled LMITA’s application as “not complete” and said the proposed opening date of fall 2013 was unlikely.

The School Board’s Select Committee, comprised of Chair Jeff Morse (Dulles), Brenda Sheridan (Sterling) and Jill Turgeon (Blue Ridge), voted 2-1 advising the School Board not to approve the school.

Turgeon and Sheridan voted to recommend disapproval and Morse voted to delay for cause, saying the applicants could improve. The committee cited problems with the school’s curriculum, budget and finances as reasons not to approve it.

The School Board will hold five work sessions and three public hearings in February, according to Chairman Eric Hornberger (Ashburn). The issue is delayed, Hornberger said, to give the School Board time to focus on the budget, which must be to the Board of Supervisors before the end of January.

The School Board approved the following schedule at its Jan. 8 business meeting:

- Thursday, Jan. 31: work session
- Tuesday, Feb. 5: work session & public hearing
- Thursday, Feb. 7: work session
- Thursday, Feb. 19: work session & public hearing
- Thursday, Feb. 21: work session
- Tuesday, Feb. 27: final vote

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