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Charter hearing moved to April 24

Imagine MASTer Academy’s charter revocation hearing scheduled for Thursday has been pushed back to April 24.

Imagine Schools Inc. Regional Director Rachel Cirullo said the school received its new date Friday after requesting more time from Ball State University, the charter school’s authorizer. She said the request was made to give the school time to form a response for the hearing, based on documents provided by Ball State.

The university announced in January that it would not renew the charters of the three Fort Wayne charter schools, including MASTer Academy. All three charters are set to expire June 30. Ball State officials cited poor academic performance and insufficient improvement as reasons for the decision.

All three schools opted to appeal the decision. The hearing for Imagine Schools on Broadway will be April 16, and Timothy L. Johnson Academy’s hearing is scheduled for April 18.

The charter school organizers and Bob Marra, executive director of the university’s Office of Charter Schools, will participate in the hearings held before a three-member panel, according to Ball State’s hearing appeal procedures.

The school organizer can bring one representative each from the schools’ administration, teachers, parents and students. All documents to be used as evidence for the hearing must also be submitted in advance. Each party will have two hours to make its case in front of a three-member panel.

Members of the panel will be appointed by Ball State President Jo Ann Gora and are required to not have previous involvement in the charter decision. The panel will submit its decision to either uphold or overturn the revocation. That decision will be final.