State Commission to Hear Birmingham Charter School Appeal

Posted by .


Bonnie Brown, Flickr

The Alabama Public Charter School Commission is scheduled to vote Monday on a proposed charter school in Woodlawn, called  i3 Academy. The Birmingham school board recently rejected i3 Academy’s bid to open in the city, and organizers appealed to the state.

Birmingham’s rejection of the i3 Academy application set the stage for a full review by the state charter school commission. An independent team reviewed the application on behalf of the state, according to Logan Searcy, the state Department of Education’s liaison with the charter School Commission. On Monday, the commission will hear a report from the reviewers and i3 Academy will have an opportunity to make the case for why it should be allowed to open in Birmingham, she said.

The Birmingham school board can authorize charter schools to operate in the district. But it rejected the i3 Academy application because the board said organizers left out key information, like how they’re going to transport students and how they’ll teach children with disabilities.

Tommy Bice, the former state education superintendent, is one of the leaders of the i3 effort. The proposed charter school will provide transportation, but the plan will be developed after officials know where the students are located, he said. Enrollment at the school will be open to Birmingham students in grades K-5.

Special education services will be based on the individual needs of each child, Bice said.

Charter schools are public schools that receive public funds, but state law gives them flexibility to operate with a separate board. The schools have to have clear plans and goals for student achievement.


State Commission Approves Birmingham Charter School

The Alabama Public Charter School Commission approved plans for a new charter school in Birmingham. The development comes two months after Birmingham school officials rejected the i3 Academy application. Organizers of the charter school appealed to the state.

Third Rejected Birmingham Charter School Plans to Appeal

The Birmingham School Board informed the state today that it denied an application for a Woodlawn-area charter school and explained why it was rejected.

First Charter Schools Open In Mississippi; Alabama Charters Could Come Soon

States across the U-S have increasingly been turning to charter schools in an effort to bolster struggling public school systems. Two of the most recent states to adopt the controversial form of education are Mississippi and Alabama. As part of a Southern Education Desk series examining charter schools in the South, we turn to Mississippi Public Broadcasting’s Paul Boger for a report on how those states are adopting to the alternative form of public education.

Paying For Charter Schools In The South

Florida has about 650 charter schools. They are part of school districts but are privately managed and largely free of many of the rules governing traditional public schools. But as enrollment in charters has increased, so has the financial cost. WFSU’s Lynn Hatter reports for the Southern Education Desk that Tennessee and Georgia are also struggling to find ways to support their charter schools.

Getting Parent Buy-In For A New Alternative

The big push for charter schools in Louisiana started after Hurricane Katrina. The state’s Recovery School District took over most of the public schools in New Orleans, and quickly issued charters. The organization has moved on to Baton Rouge, but, without a hurricane scattering teachers and students, charters really have to get parents to buy into the alternative they’re selling.