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.
The board has the ultimate power to decide whether to allow the charter schools to move forward and will vote on the issue in January.
The district currently has 12 charter schools and another downtown elementary charter school approved to open.
“We want to serve the whole child,” said Tamera Washington, founder of Harper Academy, one of the two proposed charter schools. “We're proposing to provide outreach services to go into the homes … to seek to serve those needs and empower the family.”
Washington said that the charter school, proposed to be located at 3915 N Pennsylvania Ave., will cater to high-risk students such as those who have dropped out, are teen parents or pregnant, or have diagnosed behavior health issues.
Board members asked how the school would differ from an existing charter school — SeeWorth Academy — that focuses on at-risk students including those with juvenile records.
“I actually worked at SeeWorth when SeeWorth first started,” Washington said. “We're going to come from a social-work perspective. We're going to go into those homes and we're going to … provide services to those families; we're going to open up doors to them.”
Board member Phil Horning pushed both applicants to disclose who is behind the charter applications and provide resumes showing their qualifications to run a school.