Selected readings on US charter schools
The Georgia Department of Education has awarded $475,000 in federal grants to the Tybee Island Maritime Academy, and they’ve signed a lease to use the old St. Michael’s schoolhouse just in time for its 2013-14 opening.
In June, the Savannah-Chatham public school board agreed to grant charters to the organizers of the Tybee academy and the Savannah Classical Academy. That enables each group to receive public education funding to operate charter schools, which they will privately run. Both groups reported their progress to the board last week. Both schools have conducted principal searches and student recruitment efforts. But the Classical Academy organizers are working through building issues.
The Tybee school’s organizers received a Federal Charter School Program Implementation Grant totaling $400,000, which can be used for teacher training, publicity, equipment or initial operating costs. They also received a $75,000 grant that can be used for planning costs, including governing board training, curriculum planning and the creation of an accountability and evaluation system.
And they have finalized a lease agreement with St. Michael’s Church officials for the use of the old St. Michael’s school building. They expect to enroll about 150 students in grades kindergarten through four next year and 200 in grades kindergarten through five the year after that.
Classical Academy officials are working with a college academic program, which has agreed to purchase and renovate the St. Pius X community center for the school. More than 125 children have applied for admission so far. However, the charter school organizers told the Savannah-Chatham school board that they won’t be able to house the school on site in portable buildings during construction as planned.
They asked the board if the district had available space they could use temporarily next year. Although district officials said they have been using vacant buildings to house schools that are displaced during education sales tax funded construction projects, Superintendent Thomas Lockamy said he would have a better idea about available space in April when his staff completes a facilities utilization report.
Source: Savannah Morning News – by Jenel Few