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Evicted charter school sues Minneapolis school district

Posted by: Steve Brandt under People and neighborhoods, Politics and government Updated: July 2, 2013 - 4:26 PM

A charter school authorized by and renting from the Minneapolis school district has sued the district for sending it an eviction notice and working to lure away its teachers.

The Minnesota School of Science announced the lawsuit Tuesday, one day after it was filed in Hennepin County District Court.

The suit is an outgrowth of a lease dispute that arose when the state ruled that the charter school couldn't pay state lease aid to the school district if the district is both the school's authorizer under state charter school law and the school's landlord.

The two-year-old school rents the Cityview school building in the McKinley neighborhood of north Minneapolis.  The state allowed lease aid to be paid from the school to the district in its first school year but changed its interpretation for the most recent school year.  The school alleges that its lease only requires it to pay lease aid when the state forwards it, and that it is freed from doing so by the state's refusal.  The district claims it is owed $580,000.

The lawsuit also alleges that the district broke the law by refusing to allow a North Side nonprofit to to become its new authorizer, so it could gain state lease aid.  The district has been recruiting the charter's students for a semi-autonomous school it plans to open at Cityview next school year.

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