Loudoun County School Board members, many of whom campaigned to expand school choice, turned down their only pending charter school application Tuesday night after months of scrutiny and a storm of allegations that the applicants have hidden ties to a Muslim preacher.

Board members had raised questions about significant gaps in the academic and operational plans for the Loudoun Math & IT Academy, which hoped to become Northern Virginia's first charter school. They criticized its loosely formed curriculum, shaky financial assumptions and an inadequate transportation plan before voting 8 to 1 to reject the application.

"As much as I wanted to support this effort, I am resigned that it is not of the caliber that Loudoun students deserve," said board member Jeff Morse (Dulles).

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