And then there were two.
Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy (TiZA) is one of two charter schools still waiting on a decision from state officials who are reviewing requests for the schools to switch to new overseers by the end of the day Thursday.
Eleven schools had transfer requests pending on Wednesday morning, but by day's end, the Minnesota Department of Education had rejected nine.
To stay open, all charter schools must have a contract with an authorizer -- a school district, nonprofit or college that oversees its academics and finances. This year, a change in state law has led many schools to seek state approval to transfer to new authorizers.
Anxiety has been building at some schools with the approach of June 30, when many contracts expire.
Along with TiZA, Lake Superior High School is waiting for a decision from the state, said Education Department spokeswoman Charlene Briner. The state will take action on both requests by the Thursday deadline, she said.
All nine of the schools whose transfers were denied Wednesday might stay open by extending contracts with their current authorizers, according to the state.
Eugene Piccolo, executive director of the Minnesota Association of Charter Schools, said on Wednesday that he does not believe any of the nine will be left without oversight on July 1, though he hasn't talked to officials at all of them.
TiZA, a charter school already battling the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota over claims that it has promoted religion, is in a uniquely fraught situation. On Friday, a new state law takes effect that bans out-of-state authorizers, disqualifying the school's current overseer.
TiZA has challenged the new law in a federal lawsuit filed against the state education commissioner and its current overseer. On Tuesday, the school asked a federal judge for a temporary restraining order allowing the school to stay open while the case proceeds. The judge said he would issue a ruling by noon on Thursday.
The state has already approved more than 30 transfer requests. All nine of Wednesday's denials went to Novation Education Opportunities, a nonprofit organization that already oversees a handful of schools. Novation is also TiZA's would-be authorizer.
"The denials were based on the newer authorizer's recent entry into charter school authorizing," the Education Department said in a statement, saying that the nine rejected requests "mark a significant departure from [Novation's] growth and capacity plan," which the state approved last year.
Novation director Bryan Rossi could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
Piccolo blasted the state's reasoning, arguing that it relies on a faulty assumption that business plans should always be followed to the letter. "It tells me they know nothing ... about how organizations operate," he said.