Parents scramble as San Jose charter school delays opening

Some parents in San Jose are scrambling to find other options, after the Promise Academy Charter School scrapped plans to open this year.

They were unable to find a suitable location following contentious talks with the San Jose Unified School District.

The kids were registered. The parents were ready.
But Promise Academy, the San Jose Charter School they had been hoping to attend won't be opening its doors this month.

Parent, Adelita Gomez Alvarez says, "It's disappointment, it's frustration. It's all of it. There are so many of us families that really had our hopes set on this school happening."

The issue: location, where in the San Jose Unified School District their charter school can find space.

The district offered them use of the Allen at Steinbeck School. But Promise Academy says being on the southern edge of the district is simply too far for their downtown families and inconvenient for their partnership with San Jose's Tech Museum.
Parent Yolanda Bernal-Samano says, "It's kind of hard to set up all the transportation, get all the parents geared up to say this is the only thing that was offered to us."

The school district says it would have offered transportation, as it does to the four other charter schools they work with.

Besides they say there isn't enough space at any downtown campus to accomodate a k-8 school.

But San Jose Unified School District spokesperson Lili Smith says Allen at Steinbeck would have been a good fit in terms of amenities. "We do have one that is available that would meet all of their needs. And it's there ready for them."

Instead, Promise Academy decided to delay opening for a year, leaving parents scrambling for other options.

Bernal-Samano says, "For this year, my son's on a couple of waiting lists for the high performing charter schools in our area."

Still, families say Promise Academy is worth fighting for.

Elena Alvarez, a student who would have attended this year says, "I like everything that they do for us and they all care about us."

And the families say, they'll regroup, and re-enroll for next year.

Gomez Alvarez says, "I mean who gives up on wanting the best for their kids? Nobody gives up on that. And neither are we."

Over the next year, Promise Academy says they'll look into transportation, as well as private long-term options for their school. In the meantime, they'll offer free after school tutoring for their future students.