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Kansas City Public Schools Board To Vote On Opening A Charter

Sam Zeff

The Kansas City Public Schools board wants to get into the charter school business.

The board of education is slated to vote to move that process forward Wednesday night.

The district proposes to open a charter school it's calling the Kansas City Neighborhood Academy. The district says it would partner with the Urban Neighborhood Initiative to run the school which, according to district documents, would "center on literacy and language acquisition and boasts a STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Arts Mathematics) theme, comprehensive professional development, intensive activities and a longer school day and year."

The Urban Neighborhood Initiative is a partnership between the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce and the United Way of Greater Kansas City.

The proposed school "is designed to help break the cycle of poverty for its lowest income students and will be supported by numerous wrap-around services to further support the children and families," according to the resolution the school board will vote on.

There is not universal support for the district getting into the charter school realm. Some on the board of education don't like idea, and back in June a board meeting was shut down when opponents to a partnership with Academie Lafayette protested.

This is the next step in a process that began in March when, unexpectedly, the district askedthe Missouri State Board of Education to approve a letter of intent to create a charter school.

Former superintendent Steve Green said at the time that if charter schools are going to continue to play a bigger role in education, the district should be part of that discussion.

If the board approves the plan, the district says it wants to open the Kansas City Neighborhood Academy for the 2016-2017 school year.

You deserve to know what your taxpayer dollars are paying for and what public officials are doing on your behalf – I’ll work to report on irresponsible government spending in the Kansas City area and shed light on controversies that slow government down. And when you hear my voice in the morning, you know you’re getting everything you need to start your day. Email me at sam@kcur.org, find me on Twitter @samzeff or call me at 816-235-5004.
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