Following the State Charter School Board’s unprecedented vote last night to replace the Board of Directors, School Director and Business Administrator at Vanguard Academy, Royce Van Tassel, executive director of the Utah Association of Public Charter Schools, issued the following statement.
“Vanguard Academy is another excellent charter school. ALL of their seniors graduated last year. One quarter of them also earned an associates degree. 82 percent of their graduating seniors are first generation college students.
“The State Charter School Board’s action against Vanguard Academy is wholly unsupported and should be immediately reversed. Innuendo and religious bias simply cannot justify the actions taken last night. Neither the State Charter School Board nor its staff presented a single instance of Vanguard Academy actually violating Utah’s conflict or procurement laws. Because many of Vanguard’s board are affiliated with the Davis County Cooperative Society, they assumed that Vanguard Academy is guilty until proven innocent.
“Such religious discrimination is simply inappropriate, particularly in a state founded by pioneers fleeing all too similar religious persecution. The action of this board – appointed by the Governor – does not reflect Governor Cox’s commitment to inclusion and academic excellence.
“The State Charter School Board needs to immediately revoke their decision from last night. If they as Vanguard’s authorizer want to investigate the media’s sensational allegations, they may. But investigating does NOT require the religious discrimination the SCSB displayed last night.”