Updated: 3:54 p.m. | Posted: 1:38 p.m.
A St. Paul charter school is in danger of closing after laying off over half its teaching staff.
Community School of Excellence serves almost 1000 students. The school needs a new contract with a charter school authorizer by July 1 because its current one, Concordia University, announced it's no longer going to authorize charters.
A potential contract with authorizer Minnesota Guild got derailed this week when the school proposed sudden changes to gifted and English language learner programming, says guild director Brad Blue. Blue says the contract can't go forward with the changes because there's not enough time to get state approval for a new plan.
"We approved a certain type of program — that they proposed, by the way. The new program, whatever it is, we don't know. We haven't seen it," Blue says.
The state teachers' union says layoffs of at least 22 teachers and 30 educational assistants accompanied the changes. A spokesperson for Education Minnesota says staff at Community School of Excellence recently voted to unionize and are in the midst of negotiating a contract.
In a statement, the school said it's in the process of making changes to improve student achievement and will release details of its plans in coming weeks.