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Board of Education votes to close Robert Hughes Academy

By Ryan Trowbridge

MALDEN, Mass. (WGGB) – The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has voted to revoke the charter of Robert Hughes Academy in Springfield after the board took a second vote Monday.  This vote will force the school to close at the end of the academic year.

In a hearing held today in Malden, the board voted 8-1 to accept the recommendation of the appeal hearing officer to revoke the school’s charter.  The board held this second vote after reviewing the initial decision of the officer and any other written objections submitted by the academy and the board.

In a live report from Malden during abc40 News at 5:30 p.m., Jim Cline reports that the school will now explore their legal options and possibly take the matter to court.

Back in January, the board voted unanimously to revoke the school’s charter after allegations of MCAS cheating surfaced.  After that January vote, school officials filed for an appeal that began with a hearing March 29 before hearing officer, Atty. John Bowman of Boston.

Last week, Bowman issued a 94 page report outlining the evidence presented during the appeal hearings, and issued an initial decision stating the charter should be revoked.  “I find that cause exists under the Department’s regulation (603 CMR 1.13(1)) and statute (G.L. c. 71, sec. 89(ee) (formerly (kk)) to revoke the charter granted to the Robert M. Hughes Academy Charter Public School,” Bowman writes in his report.

The school is slated to close with the end of the academic year June 17, and the charter will officially be revoked June 30.



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