Colorado State Board of Education Directs Durango 9-R School Board to Review Ascent Classical Academy’s Charter Application

Thursday, May 12, the Colorado State Board of Education voted 4-3 in favor of Ascent Classical Academy of Durango’s appeal, confirming the Durango School District 9-R Board must review the school’s charter application within 30 days 

Joyce Rankin, state board member for the Third Congressional District, which includes the city of Durango, motioned to grant the appeal, “on the basis that the local board’s action is contrary to the best interests of the pupils, school district, or community.” 

Ascent Classical submitted the appeal in March following the Durango school district board’s refusal to review Ascent Classical’s charter application. Though Ascent Classical submitted its application according to the Durango school district’s charter policy that requires applications be submitted “on or before August 1,” the district claimed it is prohibited from accepting an application before August 1. The State Board order affirms the school’s application submission meets statutory requirements and was filed in accordance with the school district policy. 

Parents of more than 600 local students have submitted an expression of interest, demonstrating a great demand for this tuition-free, K-12 classical charter school. 

“The Durango community has shown overwhelming support in our efforts to bring a high-quality classical education to their children,” said Kim Gilmartin, director of new school development and outreach for Ascent Classical Academies. “We remain hopeful the district will drop its legal actions against Ascent Classical and work with us to complete a fair review to ensure a strong opening for children in the Durango community.”  

Ascent Classical Academy of Durango plans to open fall 2023. Learn more about this proven and successful academic model at durango.ascentclassical.org.