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Solution near for troubled Credo High School

Officials from Credo High School and the Cotati-Rohnert Park School District say a potential agreement on an action plan to remedy the school's financial and organizational woes could be reached in the coming days.

Credo High School, a Waldorf-inspired independent charter school now in its third year, was issued a notice of violation in June for what district officials called fiscal mismanagement and violations of the school's charter and state law.

But officials from both sides of the sometimes contentious debate over the school's future said this week that an agreement about how Credo should proceed appears imminent.

Credo High School

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"I think that they recognized that we took their concerns very seriously," said Credo Director Chip Romer.

District officials long have contended that Credo's enrollment is dangerously below projections and that school spending has put the operation in perilous debt.

The debt of $397,000 reported in June has been reduced to $235,000, according to Romer. Credo parents are asked to contribute $200 a month for 12 months per student — a number backers say bridges the gap between what the state allocates per student and what the Waldorf-inspired high school curriculum requires.

Officials from Cotati-Rohnert Park, Sonoma County's third largest school district and the chartering authority for Credo, have complained that the school is pulling resources from the district and has failed to live up to promises laid out in the charter.

But this week, Superintendent Robert Haley said an agreement allowing Credo to continue appears imminent.

"They provided quite a bit of information, but the district still needs more time to evaluate some of the critical issues which revolve around their budget," he said. "We believe we are close to an agreement."

That is a far cry from where the two sides were just last June, when tensions ran high. Credo backers, who said district officials have not given their fledging school time to establish itself, said the district issuance of the violation notice threatened to scare off current and potential students.


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