Talks between the Cotati-Rohnert Park School District and backers of Waldorf-inspired Credo High School hit a snag this week when communication over a tentative deal to rescind the school's revocation warning broke down.
The district held a special school board meeting Monday with only two items on the agenda: to approve an agreement with Credo High School and to consider rescinding the June 24 notice of violation.
District officials said Credo representatives failed to produce documents that would have proved the two-year-old independent charter school is now on secure financial and academic footing.
“It's hard for us as a board to act on documents given to us literally minutes into the meeting,” said board president Marc Orloff. “What's really disturbing from my perspective is we have really been working diligently, trying to come to an agreement with them about their future.”
The school district is now likely to schedule a meeting by Sept. 23 to consider the notice of violation of Credo's charter. If the board votes to rescind the charter at that meeting, a public hearing on the issue must be scheduled.
An agreement seemed likely just weeks ago.
In fact, Credo backers said Tuesday an agreement has been reached but simply needed to be ratified by their board of directors at the 3 p.m. meeting immediately before the school district's 5 p.m. special meeting.
“We unanimously approved the agreement,” said Maria Martinez, president of the Credo board of directors, adding that it is the same document pored over by both Credo and district representatives for weeks.
“We both wrote it, we both edited it. The last edit we did was last week,” she said.
“I'm not sure what happened,” she said of Monday night's meeting.
“I expected it to go sailing through because of all of the background work,” said Credo director Chip Romer. “It was really puzzling and surprising.”