Oklahoma City School Board hears from two would-be charter schools

The Oklahoma City School Board heard Monday night from two local applicants wishing to start charter schools in the district that would receive public funding, teach Oklahoma City students but be run privately.
BY MEGAN ROLLAND mrolland@opubco.com Published: December 11, 2012
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“A charter applicant is asking us to hand over to them the education of a school full of Oklahoma City Public School kids so it's our job to feel very comfortable about who we are handing it over to,” Horning said.

Washington responded that there were seven members — most of whom had experience in social work or volunteer work.

The second charter school applicant is hoping to open a school to serve the 73114 ZIP code, an area in north Oklahoma City that has high poverty and a high crime rate.

John Birsner spoke on behalf of the proposed Lighthouse of Hope Academy, which he said could be located at NW 90th and Olive on property owned by Britton Christian Church.

“I am just one of a number of concerned residents and business owners in the area,” Birsner said.

He declined to name others behind the charter school organization, but he said Ronda Hamilton, the current principal at Edwards Elementary School, was a founding member.

Birsner said they hope to have an attendance boundary like the Stanley Hupfeld Academy charter school that took over the Western Village attendance boundary. The proposed charter school for downtown Oklahoma City also will have an attendance boundary.

Other business

In other business, the board approved issuing $35 million in bonds that voters approved in 2007 as part of a plan to build gymnasiums at elementary schools and expand classrooms.