Charter-school proponents turn in answers to Unit 4 board's questions

Charter-school proponents turn in answers to Unit 4 board's questions

CHAMPAIGN — Backers of a proposed charter school say they hope the 20-plus pages of documentation submitted Wednesday will provide the clarity Champaign school district officials said was missing during a contentious hearing earlier this month.

School board President Chris Kloeppel confirmed to The News-Gazette that the district received the addendum to North Champaign Academy's application before the end of business Wednesday, the revised deadline Unit 4 set last week.

Among other things, the NCA packet includes a more detailed budget breakdown. It calls for the district to provide $11,876 to cover the cost of each student's attendance — what's known as per-capita tuition. With enrollment at the K-5 school now projected to be 128 students, that amounts to $1,520,128.

During the April 9 hearing, Kloeppel and school board members pointed to 116 questions they had about NCA's original application. Since the charter school needs Unit 4's support — and financial backing — to proceed, Superintendent Susan Zola said part of the district's role in the process is to vet the application and determine how it aligns with state school code.

"We are committed to the process and have submitted our responses as a clarification of the district's core questions," NCA steering committee member Walker said Wednesday. "We look forward to the district's decision and a community collaboration for the success of the North Champaign Academy."

The next known key date in the process is 13 days away. At 5:30 p.m. May 2, the district will hold a special meeting to provide "a final written decision on approval or denial of the NCA's February 26 proposal," Zola informed NCA leaders in an email.

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