Judge rules Minn. online charter school should stay open

An online charter school in West St. Paul has won a major victory in a battle over the school's existence.

State officials had moved to close BlueSky Online, saying the school wasn't meeting state standards and had graduated students who didn't deserve a diploma.

BlueSky disputed that, and asked for a review from an administrative law judge.

The ruling Tuesday sides with the school, saying the state didn't prove its case. It also recommends the state restore a key contract that had been terminated and would have prevented BlueSky from staying open.

"Finally we got an impartial hearing officer to listen and he's completely vindicated what we've been saying for two years," Cindy Lavorato, a lawyer for BlueSky. "The school does not have a history of non-compliance; the school has a history of compliance."

The order, however, is not final — the state could still move to close the school. The Department of Education issued a statement, saying only that Commissioner Brenda Cassellius is reviewing the recommendations.

Your support matters.

You make MPR News possible. Individual donations are behind the clarity in coverage from our reporters across the state, stories that connect us, and conversations that provide perspectives. Help ensure MPR remains a resource that brings Minnesotans together.