A State Supreme Court justice will hear arguments next week on the future of Pinnacle Charter School after refusing Wednesday to issue a temporary restraining order that would have allowed the school to remain open.
Lawyers for Pinnacle submitted documents to Justice John A. Michalek requesting the order Wednesday morning in hope that the East Side grade school, with 554 students and 75 employees, could begin classes next week.
Michalek declined to rule on the school’s request. Instead, the judge scheduled a hearing for 2 p.m. Tuesday.
Classes at the charter school have been scheduled to begin the next day.
Still, supporters of the beleaguered Ash Street school have vowed to continue pressing toward the goal of having its charter restored for the upcoming school year.
“We will not give up our fight to keep Pinnacle open,” said Broderick Cason, chairman of the charter school’s board of trustees.
“We will keep our eyes on the moral imperative upon which this school was founded. We will exhaust every option in our attempt to make sure our students are able to start their new school year on Sept. 4.”
Meanwhile, members of Pinnacle’s board met Wednesday afternoon with representatives from the state Education Department.
This week, teachers and staff have conducted orientation for the upcoming school year, despite the possibility the school may not open.
The battle over Pinnacle’s future began in March 2012 when the state Board of Regents decided not to renew the school’s charter for the 2012-13 school year due to a downturn in scores on state-mandated proficiency tests.
A court injunction in June 2012 kept Pinnacle open for 2012-13, but two court decisions this summer upheld the Regents’ decision.
The planned closing of Pinnacle comes at a time when the Buffalo Public Schools are dealing with 2,200 students who already requested transfers from failing schools for the 2013-14 academic year.
The district said that it can accommodate about 300 of those requests, which means that the remaining families may see their children still stuck in schools that the state considers substandard.
Parents at Pinnacle who have been requesting transfers to schools in the district fear that their children may face a similar fate.