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New Charter School First Out-of-District for S.D.

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Aired 4/19/09

The San Diego school board is allowing a new charter school to open its doors in another district. KPBS reporter Ana Tintocalis says the move could start a trend.

The Health Sciences High School and Middle College will be the first San Diego public charter school to be located in a different district. It’s set to open later this year in La Mesa, which is part of the Grossmont Union High School District. Health Sciences spokesman Ian Pumpian says his group had to look outside San Diego because there wasn't space available for the high school. Under Proposition 39, charter schools have the right to use district-owned property. Pumpian insists the school's location won't pose any oversight problems.

Pumpian : We're talking about a property that is physically closer to the district office than many of the schools that the district currently operates. So distance is not really an issue.

Pumpian says his group hasn't violated any rules because they provided proof they performed an exhaustive search. San Diego school board member Sheila Jackson is the only trustee who voted against giving the school a charter. She says having a school in a different city sets a dangerous precedent. The district is currently struggling with charters over space. Jackson also believes the situation could be pose serious oversight problems. Ana Tintocalis, KPBS News.

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