Charter Pulse

Selected readings on US charter schools

WISCONSIN: Charter school planning moves forward

charter-school-fundingRACINE — Two proposed charter schools have been given the go-ahead from the Racine Unified School Board to apply for state planning money.

Racine Civil Leaders Academy and Mount Pleasant Renaissance School each got unanimous board approval Monday to apply for $250,000 state charter school planning grants. The approval came during the board’s regular meeting at Unified’s central office, 3109 Mount Pleasant St.

The schools would be instrumentality charter schools, meaning they’d be part of Racine Unified and would use district staff but would have authority over their own staffing decisions, budgeting, curriculum and more. Both schools still need Racine Unified School Board approval to open as instrumentalities.

Racine Civil Leaders Academy is seeking the state planning grant to design a 4K-8 school with a focus on science- and project-based learning. The school could open as soon as the 2014-15 school year in space already set aside, for free, in the tower of the Downtown YMCA, 725 Lake Ave. It would primarily enroll students living in nearby lower-income areas.

Mount Pleasant Renaissance School, 6150 Taylor Ave., is a currently-operating 4K-8 private voucher school, accepting state-funded tuition vouchers of up to $6,442 for educating low- to middle-income students living in Racine Unified’s attendance area.

Mount Pleasant Renaissance School officials are seeking the state funding to study whether it’s best, for the school budget and the children served, for the school to operate as a voucher school or as a Unified instrumentality charter, said Administrator Frank Trecroci. The school cannot be both.

About the schools

• Racine Civil Leaders Academy would be a 4K-8 charter school with a focus on science- and project-based learning and a largely low-income student population. It could open as soon as the 2014-15 school at the Downtown YMCA, 725 Lake Ave.

• Mount Pleasant Renaissance School is a 4K-8 private voucher school at 6150 Taylor Ave. The school may switch to being a charter school.

Source: Journal Times – by Lindsay Fiori

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