Frederick Charter High School Tries Again

Organizers of the EACH! Charter School are trying again to win a charter from the Frederick County School Board. Last year, the school board voted 6-1 against the charter.

A couple of things have changed. First, the school will limit its focus to high need foriegn languages, such as Russian, Chinese and Arabic, leaving off the focus on math and science as well as the languages. The new proposal also has the backing of a $550,000 grant from the Maryland Department of Education.

The school board has 120 days to respond to the proposal submitted on July 31.

Admittedly, at first I was opposed to this particular school. However, I believe it should be granted a charter. With the Department of Education, there is support from the state level.

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Other concerns such as minority enrollment seem to be a relatively dumb reason to reject a charter proposal. Just because a school doesn’t have a strong minority presence doesn’t qualify as a sufficient reason to reject the entire charter. By law, a charter school must accept any student that applies (it is a public school) or hold a lottery if the number of applicants exceed the number of available seats.

So, here is hoping that the Frederick County School Board will grant this new charter. Kudos to Angela Phillps for not giving up.

I expect the local teachers union and other charter haters to line up in opposition to this proposal again. But for the life of me I can’t figure out why. By law, this charter has to get the same amount of money per student as any other school (less a small administrative fee) and if the charter school goes forward, then there are that many fewer students in traditional school–thereby lowering the number of students per class.

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