National News
September 16, 2010

More districts examine charter schools

By Becky Vevea, of the Journal Sentinel

Area school districts are taking steps toward starting charter schools after the state Department of Public Instruction awarded 17 implementation grants from federal funding Wisconsin received in 2009.

In August, $3.3 million of the $85 million federal grant was awarded to districts to launch charter schools over the next year. Milwaukee Public Schools, UW-Milwaukee, Hartland-Lakeside in Waukesha County, Waukesha and Wauwatosa were among districts awarded money

The Germantown School District and Hartford Union High School will be holding a joint meeting at Hartford Union High School’s Library Media Center at 6 p.m. Monday to discuss possible action on a charter school planning grant they were awarded for the 2010-2011 school year. Both school boards have to approve the plan in order for the process to move toward the implementation stage, Germantown Superintendent Susan Borden said.

West Bend School District discussed a charter school proposal during a Sept. 13 meeting.

Last year, theJournal Sentinel reported that charter schools outside of the inner city are growing in number.

“They have a different level of autonomy,” said DPI spokesman Patrick Gaspar. “This is a community driven process and a lot of communities like them because they can focus the school’s curriculum on a certain theme.”

Charter schools are public schools funded by tax dollars, but they are run by independent boards as schools that students choose to attend.

Wisconsin now has more than 200 charter schools across the state. Last year, 29 grants were distributed to districts across the state to support charter schools.

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