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Embattled charter school sues city to stop planned closure

A Manhattan charter school in danger of closing is suing the city, arguing that officials violated state law and their own guidelines when they recommended that the state not renew the school’s charter.

In a report sent to the State Board of Regents last month, city officials documented a long list of academic and operational problems at Ross Global Academy Charter School. The Regents will vote next week on whether to renew the school’s five-year charter.

Among the complaints in the suit is that the city failed to provide the school with enough time to respond to its recommendation and failed to hold a meaningful hearing on the fate of the school — both included in the city’s guidelines for charter renewal.

Additionally, the charter school argues that it does not meet the legal criteria for not renewing a charter.

The school has struggled for years with questions of student safety and high teacher turnover. This year, the school received the lowest progress report rating of any school in the city. Last year, however, the school received an A, and the school is arguing that state law requires the city to base its recommendation on three years’ worth of academic performance.

City officials publicly announced that they hoped to close the school before they formally told parents or issued their final report, a move the school contends violates the city’s own standards of conduct.

The lawsuit marks the first time a city charter school has challenged a recommendation against its renewal in court, and could set precedent for future charters.

Department of Education officials would not comment today on the suit.

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