By Ryan Quinn, Charleston Gazette-Mail
November 4, 2020
The group seeking to start what may become West Virginia’s first charter school is demanding the Monongalia and Preston county boards of education approve it by Monday or face a lawsuit.
West Virginia Academy is planned to open somewhere in the “greater Morgantown area,” and it’s likely to also draw students from Preston and, possibly, Marion County, too.
That’s according to John Treu, a West Virginia University assistant professor of accounting and chairman of the proposed charter school’s board. That board would be separate from any county school boards.
Outgoing Republican state Senate President Mitch Carmichael had touted that West Virginia’s charter school law — passed in 2019 with no Democratic support, and with some Republicans defecting — would leave charter school approval or denial up to county school boards.
“If people don’t want them, they just won’t authorize them,” Carmichael had said on MetroNews radio.
But Monday evening’s “demand letter” to the county school board members cites the fact that the law has a clause that automatically approves charter schools if board members don’t make a decision on them within a certain time frame.
“Your combined boards are no longer in a position to reject our application in good faith and our application has already been accepted,” Treu wrote.