On Tuesday, Innovate Public Schools parent leaders and Promise Academy (Promise) founder Dr. Anthony Johnson met with San Jose Unified School District for a final push to secure a school site in downtown San Jose. Promise Academy, a new high-quality school option for low-income families that has a partnership with the Tech Museum of Innovation, only needs five classrooms, but has faced stiff opposition from the district despite there being plenty of space at downtown school sites.

Parent leaders and Dr. Johnson spoke with SJUSD Board President Susan Ellenberg and Superintendent Nancy Albarran for over an hour, but their decision to stick with their offer of a site in South San Jose had been made before meeting or listening to the families who fought for nearly 2 years to get Promise approved. The board offered Promise space at Allen at Steinbeck Elementary, claiming this to be the only school in the district with enough space to accommodate the new school. Unfortunately, this location is far from downtown San Jose where many of the families who fought to get Promise approved live, and would take them an hour or more to get to.

The district has until this Friday to offer a site to Promise as mandated by a judge. If the district does not offer a downtown site by Friday, Promise might be delayed in opening for another year.

We urge San Jose Unified School Board President Susan Ellenberg and members Teresa Castellanos, Michael Melillo, Kimberly Meek, and Pam Foley to take action, because these families don’t have another year to wait.