Judge urges both sides to reach a resolution over enrollment dispute outside court
By Tess Malijenovsky
On Wednesday, November 30, Riverview Charter School met the Beaufort School District in court over a legal argument concerning the charter school’s future enrollment.
Nearly a year ago, the Beaufort County Board of Education unanimously approved a motion limiting Riverview’s enrollment to 342 students for the current school year. However, the school filed a declaratory judgment to seek legal clarity on the matter after digging up its contract with the Board of Education and OCR, in which the district approved 380 students for the current school year.
At Wednesday’s hearing, Judge Blatt said that student enrollment was a material term of the charter contract and urged both parties to work together during the next 10 days to try and resolve their differences. If no resolution is reached, the issue will proceed to trial. Judge Blatt pointed out that in the court proceedings both sides praised the success of Riverview, and he suggested that this collective agreement of Riverview’s success should motivate both parties to reach a resolution outside of court.
Riverview Charter School’s Board Chair, Mallory Baches, said she feels a quick and amicable resolution of the matter is in the best interest of the students and the community. “We are looking forward to resolving this with the district,” she stated. “The school offered a compromise this past spring, and we’re still willing to compromise. We are sensitive to the district’s financial position, but it’s impossible for us to build long term financial plans if the district can singularly change the terms of our contract without our consent.”