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posted: 4/18/2012 4:55 PM

District 26 charter school backers won't appeal denial

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The nonprofit organization behind a failed bid to start a charter school in Cary Elementary District 26 say they will not appeal the school board's denial to the state but will submit a fresh application at the local level.

Crystal Lake-based Vision Group had proposed opening a charter school for students in kindergarten through the fifth grade in the former Maplewood School in downtown Cary. In March, the school board unanimously rejected the plan a month after a contentious public hearing.

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Vision Group has until Friday to lodge an appeal with the State Charter School Commission, which would affirm or reverse the school board's decision.

But Terry Trobiani, president of the Vision Group, said in an email to the Daily Herald Wednesday that the group will not appeal to the state for a charter grant at this time.

"Instead we have reviewed the written concerns of the district board and are addressing issues, concerns and constructive input from a vast number of Cary residents.

"We are interviewing operating companies who are currently running very successful charter schools in Illinois."

Trobiani added that the group is researching the administrative structure, curriculum, teacher base, special education programs and history of these schools.

Cary residents and school board members had attacked Trobiani and other members of the Vision Group during the public hearing for their apparent lack of preparedness. Vision Group members were unable to adequately answer questions regarding course offerings, transportation, class sizes and a business plan.

It is not known when the Vision Group expects to submit a new application.

District 26 Superintendent Brian Coleman said the district had not heard from the group since it signed a letter stating the school board had rejected the proposal.

When another proposal is submitted, the school board will fully consider the application, Coleman told members of the district's Community Engagement Committee earlier this week.

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