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Quest Charter Academy will not pursue judicial appeal of state decision to close school

Quest Charter Academy is set to close after the 2023-24 school year.
Camryn Cutinello
Quest Charter Academy is set to close after the 2023-24 school year.

Quest Charter Academy will not seek further appeal of the decision by the Peoria Public Schools Board of Education to close the charter school.

The board made the decision after Quest failed to meet mutually agreed upon goals and had not reached the necessary percentage of certified teachers.

Quest appealed that decision to the Illinois State Board of Education, which agreed with the District 150 board on May 15.

Quest could pursue judicial review of the state board decision. But during a meeting of the Quest Charter Board of Education, Chief Executive Officer Taunya Jenkins said she felt the administrative team had done all that it could.

“We felt as an administrative team that we worked with the appeal, with our team to do what we could to represent Quest,” she said. “We feel as though we did a job that was meaningful and well thought out. And we didn't get the result that we wanted to, but it was not for a lack of performance by students and staff.”

Jenkins said communication of the decision has gone out to students, parents and staff.

Quest and District 150 have been working on a transition plan since January.

Jenkins said during the meeting that school counselors have been helping kids get enrolled with the right classes and the Athletics Department is working to transfer athletes so they’ll be eligible to play under Illinois High School Association guidelines.

Students will transition to District 150 for the 2024-25 school year.

Jenkins said Quest also is working to close a $1 million deficit before the end of the year, using state and federal grant money. She said the school currently still has to balance May and June of the fiscal year, adding Quest has more than $1 million in reserve.

Camryn Cutinello is a reporter and digital content director at WCBU. You can reach Camryn at cncutin@illinoisstate.edu.