Mayacamas charter school in Napa to remain open while legal battle proceeds

A judge ordered that the school remain open while an appeal moves forward.|

The looming threat of the Mayacamas Charter Middle School in downtown Napa being forced to close as the result of a legal battle has been alleviated — at least for the immediate future.

A Sacramento Superior Court judge on Wednesday ordered that the school, which opened Aug. 16, will remain open while an appeal against an earlier ruling that would void the school’s approval by the California State Board of Education moves forward.

The Napa Unified School District in November 2022 legally contested the state board’s September 2022 approval of the school, which involved overturning prior denials by the school district board and the Napa County Office of Education board.

The school district claimed the state board didn’t follow recent changes in state law because it didn’t meet an appropriate standard to find the two local boards “abused their discretion” in denying the charter school.

A Sacramento Superior Court judge affirmed that claim in July by issuing a final judgment in support of the Napa district’s petition to overturn the state board decision.

But plans for an appeal of that decision from the Napa Foundation for Options in Education — the organization behind the Mayacamas school — then came together, which would automatically put a stay on the legal process and allow the school to open.

Lawyers representing the Napa school district attempted to overturn that stay, to prevent the school from opening in the first place. They argued the stay “would cause irreparable harm” to the district by upsetting the status quo.

The court on Wednesday sided with Mayacamas supporters by allowing the automatic stay.

Mayacamas supporters are currently working to get a new iteration of the school approved, under a countywide benefit charter petition submitted to the Napa County Office of Education.

A hearing on that petition is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Aug. 30 at the Napa County Office of Education board room, 2121 Imola Ave.

You can reach Staff Writer Edward Booth at 707-521-5281 or

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