Riverside County Office of Education says, “No”

Riverside County Office of Education says, “No”


A non-profit educational institution, REAL Journey Academies, was recently rejected in its bid to open a countywide charter school. 

The company sought to open iEmpire Academy, a school for students who need intense help in English and math literacy. The Voice reviewed a report considered by the Riverside County Office of Education (COE) with regard to the proposal and learned it was rejected by officials because it failed to meet established requirements. 

The report noted, “The legal standards and criteria for a countywide charter petition are more stringent than the standards and criteria for other types of charter school petitions.” 

According to state standards, a COE may approve a countywide charter only if it finds, in addition to meeting the general requirements, that “the educational services to be provided by the charter school will offer services to a pupil population that will benefit from those services and that cannot be served as well by a charter school that operates in only one school district in the county.” 

As it relates to countywide charter schools, the COE, “may impose any additional requirements beyond those required by this section that it considers necessary for the sound operation of a countywide charter school.” 

The petition was denied for a number of reasons. Firstly, the company failed to demonstrate that the proposed Charter School meets the legal criteria and standards for establishment of a countywide charter school under the state’s Education Code section 47605.6. 

Next, the report noted the company was “demonstrably” unlikely to successfully implement the program as set forth in its charter petition. Another area of concern was related to budget and cash flow, as well as the successful implementation of special education programs. 

Also, according to the report, the petition did not “contain reasonably comprehensive descriptions of each of the required elements in regards to educational programs, location of facilities, governance structure, suspension and expulsion procedures, and admissions requirements. 

And finally, “The Charter School presents an unsound educational program for the pupils to be enrolled in the charter school.” 

Although the proposal failed to receive approval of the Riverside Office of Education, REAL Journey Academies is free to file an appeal with the California Board of Education.

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