Einstein Academy will have second court hearing to halt district decision

Albert Einstein Academy of Letters, Arts and Sciences. Dan Watson/The Signal

Albert Einstein Academy of Letters, Arts and Sciences will have a second chance in court to postpone a decision to deny its charter petition until after the school’s appeal can be heard by the State Board of Education.

On Tuesday, the Los Angeles County Superior Court agreed to set a preliminary injunction hearing for the charter school on July 13 at 1:30 p.m., according to an email sent to the Albert Einstein community.

“This means that we will be heard well in advance of the start of school,” CEO Maggie Ford said.

The preliminary injunction hearing will determine whether or not the school can set aside the William S. Hart Union High School District’s and the Los Angeles County Board of Education’s rulings on the charter renewal until the school’s petition can be heard by the state in mid-September.

If a judge rules in favor of Albert Einstein, the school will be able to open its doors to its 450 students in grades 7 to 12 and continue its operations after its 2012 charter expires on June 30, 2017.

“I know that this probably provides more questions than answers but I am uplifted by the events of the day and the potential that this ruling provides,” Ford said in an email to the Albert Einstein community.  “This victory is small but battles are won with small victories.”

This is the second time Albert Einstein has turned to the courts to halt the district’s and county’s rejections of its charter petition.

Albert Einstein’s original writ of mandate and ex parte hearing—a temporary order to set a rejection aside—was denied by the Los Angeles County Superior Court on May 22.

According to the school’s Attorney James Kachmar, the court “seemed open to considering new evidence and won’t necessarily be bound by her ruling on the TRO (temporary restraining order),” or on the ex parte injunction hearing.

Ford said the Albert Einstein team is continuing to fight for the students and their right to attend Albert Einstein and thanked the school’s families for being supportive through the ups and downs of the charter appeals process.

“I would be remiss if I did not thank our board, parents, staff, Dr. McDonnell and attorneys for all of the work these months,” she said.  “I have never been more proud to be a part of a team than I am today.”

The charter renewal petition and appeals process does not affect the Albert Einstein STEAM Academy, which serves students in kindergarten through sixth grade and is chartered out of the Acton Agua Dulce Unified School District.

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