Liberty Just in Case

A Dialogue for the September 12th World

Save the School

Posted by zaphriel on March 30, 2006

Chuck Muth (A Nevada Political Activist) and I don’t always agree, but Chuck hit the nail on the head today…

Bureaucrats at the Gate


If you ever questioned whether or not the education establishment is hostile to the notion of charter schools, the nightmare which Halima Academy is suffering in Reno at the hands of paper-pushing education bureaucrats right now ought to remove any such doubt. What the Nevada Department of Education is doing to Halima and its students is all but criminal.

Halima Academy is a charter school sponsored by the Nevada Department of Education. And the department voted earlier this month to close the school immediately for various “violations” of the Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) governing charter schools. I’ll just point out here that the main body of the NRS comes to over 14,000 horse-choking words and 26 single-spaced pages.

The fact of the matter is, if the department wants to close a charter school down, there is MORE than enough legislative gobbly-di-gook in the NRS to make it “legal.” This is reminiscent of what former New York Court of Appeals Judge Sol Wachtler once famously said: “Any prosecutor who wanted to, could indict a ham sandwich.”

Anyway, Halima appealed the department’s closure decision to the courts, and Washoe District Chief Judge Jerry Polaha issued a temporary stay. Another hearing is scheduled in his court tomorrow.

The Department of Education cited a list of what it contends are infractions of NRS as its excuse for closing the school. The “problems” generally center around failure to complete and/or submit various bureaucratic paperwork and other alleged technical non-compliance. The key point here is that none of the infractions relate to whether or not the children in the school are receiving a proper education. And none of the so-called infractions put the children in any kind of physical danger.

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All of this amounts to a peeing match between the State BOE (generally thought to be controlled by the teachers union) and a well meaning charter school that takes in what the school board has already thrown away. Sad really, that the State Board of Education, does not have education first on its priority list.

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