More work needed for newly approved Monroe charter schools - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

More work needed for newly approved Monroe charter schools

Posted: Updated: May 30, 2012 10:58 AM

By Victoria Shirley

MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News)- The Monroe City School Board voted to approve three charter school applications. But all isn't finalized yet, more work is needed to hammer out the details.

On the school board agenda Tuesday were three charter school applications for charter schools: Excellence Academy, Vision Learning Academy, and Neville High School.

Excellence Academy would focus on middle school students who need extra help.  "The hook we're going to use to motivate and inspire them is a tremendously active and intensive arts and drama music program" said Roosevelt Wright.

The most recent charter school proposal is Vision Learning Academy. The charter would work with teens at-risk of dropping out of high school. "It's just that charter, the ordinance of it, gives us an opportunity to do a little more to do whatever it takes to get those children to where they need to be." said Vision Learning Academy Charter Leader Latoya Jackson.

Under a charter, Neville will function separately from the board and with more flexibility. The alumni president-elect Gary Roberts says he's pleased with the board's cooperation so far. "We want to make sure as a charter committee that we work with them to satisfy whatever issues they may have."

The three applications were approved with a 5-1 vote. With the only opposing vote coming from board president Verbon Muhammad. The board president told KNOE, he voted no because of lingering unanswered questions. But board member Vickie Dayton says because of the way she worded the motion, the board still has time to review the applications before it's full steam ahead. The proposed charters now face three hurdles: reviews of charter law compliance, federal court approval, and contract negotiations.

If all requirements are passed, Neville's charter will begin this August. The other two schools would open in August of 2013. The board tells us many work sessions with those involved with the proposed charter schools will soon be planned.

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