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Charter school: Yes or no?

 

It appears the possible establishment of the proposed Riverside Academy Charter School in Brookings may hinge on one thing: how many people think it’s needed.

Those who support the idea of a charter school – and those who don’t – will have a chance to say so during a public hearing at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Brookings-Harbor High School auditorium.

 

The meeting is required by Oregon law and we hope the public opinions expressed Thursday will help guide the Brookings-Harbor School Board and Riverside organizers in their future decisions about the charter school. 

Organizers of Riverside have done much of their homework and have presented a convincing case for such an institution. We admire their enthusiasm, tenacity and commitment to providing children with an alternative way of learning.

It’s clear to us that the current public school model is not one-size-fits-all. It likely never was, and the long history of  low test scores at our public schools and increasing number of home-schooled children proves that.

For some, the idea that state money would be diverted from our public schools to the charter school is a deal breaker. It shouldn’t be. Regardless of whether our tax dollars are funneled to the school district or the charter school, they still benefit the students for which they were intended.

There are still some unanswered questions about the charter school. Where would it be located? Would it be a part of or separate from the school district? How many students would it serve? What would the ultimate financial impact be to the school district?

None of those questions can be addressed, however, until Riverside organizers and school officials hear, firsthand, how many people support a charter school.

See you on Thursday.

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