School Board rejects application for charter high school

Calcasieu School Board rejects charter high school application

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - After nearly three months of review by outside evaluators, Calcasieu Schools Superintendent Wayne Savoy is recommending to not approve the application for a charter high school by the Lake Charles Charter Academy Foundation for the 2014 - 2015 school year.

"Was a result of their recommendation to me the application does not provide convincing or compelling arguments as to why this charter school would be unique and an imperative addition to the school district within which it seeks to operate," said Savoy.

According to Savoy the evaluators said it didn't meet state or parish standards but that didn't stop two other K-8th charter schools from opening in Calcasieu Parish.

"For further clarification why are we even here? Why are we even doing this? It seems like we vote down an organization that applies for a charter, which I certainly understand. Then they go to BESE and get it anyway. So why are we here? I think that to me is ridiculous," said Bill Jongbloed, Calcasieu Parish School Board.

It's those same concerns Savoy has been voicing.

"It is an application that will be forwarded to BESE they can take a look at it ... They can make a decision accordingly. That is the rules of the game right now. I'm as frustrated as anyone right now," said Savoy.

By rejecting the application the Calcasieu Parish School Board would have no influence on the school's operation should they be given approval by BESE. However, they would have to share funding for students who attend - an issue Savoy also takes issue with.

"I don't agree with the mechanism of funding. I don't think that any parish should be giving funding to a school that is giving a projected enrollment and we settle up in the spring. That impacts what we can do as a system - tremendously. It's an issue I've had from day 1," said Savoy.

The vote by the School Board to not approve the application was unanimous. The Lake Charles Charter Academy Foundation is expected to go before BESE and make application to open the school in the 2014 - 2015 school year.

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