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Delaware court rules against Moyer Academy, City of Wilmington

A legal attempt to stall the closing of a Wilmington charter school has failed.

 

Late last year, the Maurice J. Moyer Academic Institute and the City of Wilmington sued the state of Delaware after its department of education voted unanimously to revoke the school’s charter. They hoped the New Castle County Court of Chancery would issue an injunction voiding the decision.

Judge Andre Bouchard denied that motion Friday saying, in part, “It is the responsibility of State officials…to make the tough decisions concerning whether a charter school is meeting its obligations under the Charter School Act.”

Bouchard said the state had not denied due process to Moyer’s students when it decided to shutter the school. He wrote that the school’s students “do not have a constitutionally protected interest in graduating from New Moyer.”

Absent an appeal, the ruling means that New Moyer will close as scheduled at the end of the 2015 school year.

“We will continue to work with students and their families as they transition to new schools,” said department of education spokesperson Alison May in a statement.

The latest decision could well spell the end for a charter school that has faced various troubles in various forms over the years.

The Maurice J. Moyer Academy opened originally in 2006, but closed four years later because of academic woes. The state granted it another charter in 2012 under a new name, the Maurice J. Moyer Academic Institute (or “New Moyer”). The state then revoked that charter because of concerns about academics and curriculum.

The state noted in its revocation letter that New Moyer had the lowest test scores of “any charter school in the state.”

Friday’s ruling marks a victory for the state, which last year saw a federal judge side with the plaintiff in a similar case. In that suit, Reach Academy for Girls said the state acted in a discriminatory way in closing its all-girls school while an all-boys charter remained open. The judge, Leonard P. Stark, issued a one-year injunction.  

Reach Academy returned to the same court Friday to ask for another injunction after the state once again decided to not renew the school’s charter.

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