Promise Academy is gearing up to take their charter petition to the Santa Clara County Office of Education next week. In May, the San Jose Unified school board turned down the school’s petition by a vote of 3-2. Though parents were disappointed, they were grateful to all those who supported their efforts, including the two SJUSD board members who voted to approve the school: Paymon Zarghami and Kimberly Meek.
When casting his yes vote, Zarghami had this to say about Promise Academy: “I see a transformative vision that is rooted in equity and student leadership. This petition is about stoking leadership in our children that is already inherent in them and is charging our students with becoming change agents.”
Unfortunately, school founder Dr. Anthony Johnson was given only 5 minutes to present at the vote and school board members were not allowed to ask him any follow up questions. Zarghami and Meek, who voted to approve the school, were the only school board members who reached out to speak with Dr. Johnson to ask clarifying questions before the vote.
Despite the setback, parents are not giving up. And neither is Dr. Johnson. “It’s unfortunate that the District decided to deny our petition,” he said, “but I am committed to continuing to fight for students in downtown San Jose, and in particular our most vulnerable families.”
Innovate parent leaders have been working hard over the last several months to help make Promise Academy a reality. They are looking forward to meeting with County board members, including those who came to the San Jose Community Action Meeting and assured parents they would find a fair review process at the County level.
In response to some of the questions that came up at the School Board vote and in the weeks afterward, Promise Academy prepared this Fact Sheet for parents and community members.
Promise Academy will submit its appeal to the County on Monday, July 10, and the County hearing will be on August 2.