Charter school application has Fort Wayne teachers concerned

FWCS meets to discuss charter school
FWCS meets to discuss charter school(Fort Wayne's NBC)
Published: Apr. 18, 2022 at 11:08 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 19, 2022 at 4:17 PM EDT
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne’s NBC) - Leaders with Fort Wayne Community Schools met to discuss an application for a new charter school in Fort Wayne. There was also a public forum, where dozens of teachers showed their opposition to the idea.

The application process is through the Indiana Charter School Board, and it is the ICSB that will make the ultimate decision on the charter.

FWCS board member Noah Smith says they first saw the proposal at the beginning of the month. Monday night was the first time they’ve all met to discuss the application at an work session.

“It’s not real clear to us why they’re initiating this request. That’s something we are hoping to learn,” Smith said. “We aren’t afraid of them coming to compete with us, it’s just the diminishing of resources that would pull from what we do.”

Following that meeting, there was a public hearing for people to come and express their opinion of the idea. There were so many people at the Allen County Public Library, in the room it was happening in, they had to wait outside the meeting for their turn to speak.

FWCS teacher Mark Tojo says he doesn’t see the need for a charter school.

“I haven’t heard of anyone who is excited about a charter school coming in,” Tojo said. “Any school who is for-profit is really not giving better services than us, because we have great schools and services.”

Also at the public forum, Smith Academy for Excellence Assistant School Leader Thomas Smith. He says there are many benefits to having a charter school in the community, however, he hasn’t quite decided how he feels about this one. He says he needs to know more details.

“Normally charter schools have a focus that are unique.they should bring something to the table that’s unique,” he said. “If they do have something unique and valuable for parents, it would benefit the community.”

Members of the Indiana Charter School Board were at the public hearing to hear the teachers opinions. The groups meet again April 28th.

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