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Kansas City Public Schools Cleared To Become A Charter School Sponsor

Sylvia Maria Gross

The Kansas City school district may be getting into the charter school business.

The district says it received the OK from the state board of education on Tuesday to become a charter school sponsor.

Kansas City Superintendent Steve Green says if the charter schools are going to continue to play a bigger role in education, the district should be part of that discussion.

"This gets us to the table and allows us to be an active and equal participant in the conversation about charter schools in our community," Green said in a statement.

Right now, only about 50 percent of the students in the Kansas City district actually go to a Kansas City Public School.

The district says both the Chamber of Commerce and the Urban Neighborhood Initiative are potential partners in a charter school.

Green says most charter school sponsors are universities but a local school district can bring both academic expertise to a charter school and also provide operational support such as transportation.

The Chamber says a charter school could be the centerpiece of neighborhood redevelopment, with mixed income housing surrounding the school.

Green says any district-sponsored charter school is at least two years away.

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