Martin Hughes Charter School


The Martin Hughes Charter School in Buhl, Minn., embattled for months over whether teachers or managers would call the shots, has lost its charter, and started classes Monday as a private school.

The new Iron Range School still will teach the same kids, those sent by the courts to the Mesabi Academy treatment facility, and offer an almost identical program, officials said. Mesabi Academy, a residential program for troubled youth, is owned by KidsPeace.

But its life as a charter school is over.

"We very much wanted to retain the charter model, which allowed us great financial efficiencies that could be passed on to educate our kids," said Dan Kasperkoski, executive director of Mesabi Academy, in a written statement. "Unfortunately, ongoing governance issues would not allow for the charter to continue."

The school had been granted two extensions to its charter to give it, its teachers and its sponsor, the Mountain Iron-Buhl School District, time to work out a governing pact…

The school now will come under the educational oversight of the Mountain Iron-Buhl district, said Superintendent James Techar. The state Department of Children, Families and Learning will keep an eye on its financial operations. The new private school will receive funding from students' home districts…

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