On November 6th, a small group of Little Rock School District parents met with leaders of the Arkansas Parent Network, Arkansas Learns and Arkansans for Education Reform Foundation to discuss initial steps in creating an open enrollment public charter middle school (leading to a high school) in West Little Rock. The gathering was convened by Arkansas Learns and hosted by the Arkansas Public School Resource Center (APSRC) and its executive director, Scott Smith.
Charter schools are free public schools, open to all, which operate independently of traditional public school districts.
The group adjourned highly motivated by a consensus commitment to mobilize parents in support of the effort, while the APSRC gauges interest among the nation’s top, performance-based charter management organizations (CMOs).
To that end, please join interested parents, employers and citizens for a West Rock Charter Town Hall Meeting on Tuesday, December 4, 2012, at 7:00 pm. The gathering will be held in the auditorium of the Chenal Valley Church (16025 Taylor Loop Road). The proposed charter would in no way be affiliated with Chenal Valley or any other church. We are simply meeting there because of the church’s generosity and support of the community. The gathering will feature Bethany Culpepper and Cindy Palen, parent leaders of the recently approved Northwest Arkansas Classical Academy K-8 charter in Bentonville (ParentsSeekingOptions.org).
Click here to RSVP for the meeting.
For years, citizens in West Little Rock have pleaded with the Little Rock School District to provide proximate public education for 3/7 of its population (Zones 4, 5 and 6). And yet, no definitive actions have been taken by the board to see this to reality.
While all of us remain strong advocates for new traditional public middle and high schools in West Little Rock and excellent public education in general, we agree that we must concurrently pursue the public charter option in order to avoid further delay in the provision of an excellent public option.
Under the current authorization system, it is likely too late for today’s fifth graders for next year. But, that doesn’t mean a world-class public charter couldn’t be in place by the 2014-15 school year.
As with any movement, we need numbers in order to be attractive to the nation’s top CMOs and to strengthen our case before the Arkansas State Board of Education, at present, the state’s sole authorizer for charter applications. To that end, please join us in making your individual and collective voices heard by joining our highly interactive online community today at ArkansasLearns.org and taking advantage of its many interactive features, including:
- Member Directory
- Event Calendar
- Group and Individual Blogs
- Dynamic Forums
- Photo Gallery
- File Library
Together, we can provide excellent public education options for all of our children and, through competition, improve the performance of the entire traditional public school district.For more on charter schools, visit http://www.apsrc.net/PageDisplay.asp?p1=757.