Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Word (and Will) of God is Not Bound

I recently attended a school board meeting where an established learning center in the community (which is tethered to a charter school in a neighboring county) was petitioning to be approved as an independent charter school in our county. This request was officially submitted (and we also attended the first meeting regarding it months ago). The board did not vote on it that particular evening and leading up to the new date asked that various items be addressed and resolved before they were willing to give it their consideration.

This gathering began just as the other, with formalities (but also a technical problem). We waited patiently and I sat texting, checking email, etc. Making posts on the Internet which said, "I should be training but I am stuck in a boring meeting. Zzzzzzzz." I quickly engaged, however, when the school board's attorney (county counsel) was called to answer questions. Inquiries like, "If we deny this petition, will it cost us anything?" And, "If we deny this and county or state approves it, will this charter school have to come before us to ask if it may branch out and have 'learning centers' in neighboring counties?" And, "Are all the teachers and administrators certified?"

County counsel stated the petitioner had met every request made by the board and satisfied each legal requirement under the Charter School Act. Further, he said the petitioner would not be legally obligated to get approval from the court to serve bordering counties by erecting "learning centers" however, did agree to do so as the board had asked. Not to mention, "Yes," all of the teachers and administrators are credentialed. He went on to say the board could only deny the request for very specific reasons.
The governing board of the school district shall not deny a petition for the establishment of a charter school unless it makes written factual findings to the particular petition, setting forth specific facts to support one or more of the following findings:
(1) The charter school presents an unsound educational program for the pupils to be enrolled in the charter school.
(2) The petitioners are demonstrably unlikely to successfully implement the program set forth in the petition.
(3) The petition does not contain the number of signatures required by subdivision (a).
(4) The petition does not contain an affirmation of each of the conditions described in subdivision (d).
(5) The petition does not contain a reasonably comprehensive description of all [that is outlined herein].

The board was divided two to four (with one member missing). One of them said, "Let's be the ones to approve it." Another stated, "I don't see how it benefits the community." And a third with, "I don't agree with it so my vote is, 'No'." And there it was, the denial of an independent charter school in our area. To be honest, I am so glad we are moving to Texas soon where there are many from which to choose, approved, close by where we will be living! Praise God!

Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my gospel, for which I am suffering, bound with chains as a criminal. But the word of God is not bound! (2 Timothy 2:8, 9 ESV)
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