The Alabama Public Charter School Commission voted this month to approve a request to open STAR Academy, which will be the state’s first charter school and will open in Birmingham. The Birmingham Board of Education denied the request, which left the decision up to the state. Opinions on charter schools in Alabama and Birmingham are contentious. Opponents say charter schools are for-profit institutions that siphon money from public schools. Supports say they give students and parents more educational choices. Hear more about this from Nick Patterson, editor of the weekly newspaper Weld.