Cotati-Rohnert Park district may revoke Credo High School's charter

The Cotati-Rohnert Park School Board has called a special meeting Monday to consider launching the process leading to the revocation of Credo High School's charter.

Administrators from Sonoma County's third largest school district have accused officials from the two-year-old Waldorf-inspired high school of fiscal mismanagement, not fulfilling its educational commitments and falling far below enrollment expectations.

"I do not see, unfortunately, their ability to be fiscally viable with the amount of students they have been able to attract. With the amount of debt they have, I don't see how they can continue as a viable fiscal entity," said Cotati-Rohnert Park Superintendent Robert Haley.

"It's unfortunate. I feel sorry for those involved. I know they have given their time and their energy (but) my responsibility is to the Cotati-Rohnert Park board," he said. "So my advice is that they continue with revocation."

Cotati-Rohnert Park, which oversees Credo as an independent charter, is responsible for fiscal oversight and ensuring the school is following its charter.

If the board votes Monday night to issue the notice of violation to Credo, the charter school backers have until July 26 to either refute or remedy the charges.

Credo Director Chip Romer said the school deserves a chance to take root.

"We recognize that this is a district that is trying to reinvent itself and Credo is offering a really great educational program that is highly successful by multiple measures and we will be a feather in their cap if they will let us get out of the start up phase," he said.

Credo opened its doors in 2011 to 39 students, well below early projections of 100. Each year, the school has fallen below enrollment expectations and district officials have accused Credo administrators of not making adequate staffing and financial adjustments requisite with lower enrollment.

The school enrolled 80 students last year and expects 108 in 2013-14, 154 in 2014-15 and 172 in 2015-16.

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