Champaign district plans to deny proposal for charter school

Champaign district plans to deny proposal for charter school

CHAMPAIGN — The Unit 4 school district plans to deny local organizers' proposal to start a charter school on the city's north end, according to the just-released agenda for Wednesday's board meeting.

A group of community leaders — including Craig Walker, Nathaniel Banks and Lekevie Johnson — had proposed the school as a way to help improve academic progress in low-income and low-achieving students within the Champaign school district. 

In an accompanying document, the district noted "administrative concerns" regarding the organization of the North Champaign Academy, which had been proposed for the 1400 block of West Anthony Drive.

The proposal also failed to "comply with substantive aspects of charter school law," Unit 4 noted, adding that school backers failed to "satisfactorily respond to the board’s inquiries."

Under the proposed plan, the school would serve students in kindergarten through fifth grade in ways its founders say are not as feasible in public schools, such as developing intimate family engagement and emphasizing a theme of entrepreneurship and finance.

The school board is set to officially vote on the issue at a special meeting, set for 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.

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