Enrollment for new charter school begins

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - A second charter school in Lake Charles will open for the 2012 school year.

Lake Charles Charter Academy Foundation Board President Judge Gene Thibodeaux said the current charter school, Lake Charles Charter Academy, has proved to be a success and now it's time to open another charter school in the area to allow more students to have the opportunity to attend a charter school.

In a public informational meeting about the charter schools, Thibodeaux told parents, grandparents and students that the Charter Foundation wants to give kids a greater opportunity for success.

"We see ourselves as partners in providing public education. The difference is that we provide it in a private setting," Thibodeaux said.

The second charter school, The Southwest Louisiana Charter Academy will house kindergarten through sixth grades and eventually bring seventh and eighth grade after its first few years.

"We want you all to have a choice. A choice to make in giving your kids and your grandkids the same opportunities for success that we had," he said.

And with Governor Bobby Jindal's education reform plans, giving parents and students a choice in choosing a school with the voucher program, Thibodeaux said the charter board hasn't taken a position on it.

"We don't have enough information to determine whether or not we would participate in the voucher program," he said. "We don't anticipate that we will have any spots available for that sort of program."

Other myths about charter schools were brought up at the meeting, such as charter schools choose the students. Thibodeaux said this was false explaining that the Lake Charles charter schools have open enrollment and when applications exceed the number of available spots, the process becomes a lottery.

"This is a public school that is privately built. It provides parents and children a choice from school that they already have now," he said.

Enrollment for the Southwest Louisiana Charter School will continue until May 29, 2012. It will be located in the temporary building where the current Charter Academy is. The Lake Charles Charter Academy will reside in its permanent facility this fall.

The new charter school will open its doors for school in the fall of 2012. The permanent facility will begin construction along Nelson Road and plan to open in fall of 2013.

Copyright 2012 KPLC. All rights reserved.