Berkeley's school board unanimously rejected a proposal for two charter schools based on technical flaws in the application, but indicated approval could happen in June if corrections are made.

District staff cited numerous grounds for denying the plan, including incomplete details of how technology will be used in teaching, of programs for high achieving and disabled students, and of how student achievement will be assessed. They also took issue with lack of information on governance structures such as the school board, health screening for students, employee benefits and budget figures.

Backers say the two charter schools, which would serve up to 700 middle and high school students, are needed to help close the academic achievement gap by giving students an alternative way of learning with a major emphasis on technology.

Berkeley Unified School District Superintendent Bill Huyett, board President Karen Hemphill and board member Beatriz Leyva-Cutler indicated the proposal win acceptance at one of two June meetings if changes are made in the application.

"I would expect to see an approval by staff," Hemphill said. "Bottom line is we want our children to succeed. If this works, the result will be a good foundation for that."

Victor Diaz, a Berkeley school district principal and one of the applicants of the charter, said he would be able to make changes in time for the June 9 or June 23 school board meeting.



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