Federal judge orders hearing for Excellence Academy

Judge rules school board denied Charter school due process by not providing a hearing before voting to close the school
A Federal judge has ordered a stop to the closure of Excellence Academy in a King Solomon “Divide” the baby decision that gave the Academy a chance to have a hearing, but to have that hearing before the city school board.
   Judge Robbie James ruled Wednesday that Excellence Academy had proven sufficiently that it had a right to expect a fifth year of operation, but was denied a chance to respond to a negative report by a company hired to evaluate the school.
   In Federal Court Tuesday, Doug Lawrence, attorney for the school board resisted any effort by the court to give the school a hearing before the board. Lawrence said two board members were contacted prior to beginning of the trial and it was decided the school would not be given a hearing.
   After listening to a morning of testimony by Roosevelt Wright, Jr., founder of Excellence Academy and Brent Vidrine, the trial broke for lunch. However, when it resumed after lunch Judge James interrupted Lawrence’s defense to note that he only wanted to hear evidence related to whether due process was given the school, no other issues.
    With that decision, Lawrence told the court he had no witnesses and the trial ended.
    Judge James’ ruling prevents the district from contacting parents to transfer students, withholding funding or any other actions that would close or discontinue funding of the school until the board affords the school a chance to respond to the negative report given by a New Orleans company called “Ten Square.”
    The judge said the hearing should be held before June 7th.