NEWS 5 INVESTIGATES: Charter school coming to Washington County, parents divided

State / Regional
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WASHINGTON COUNTY, Ala. (WKRG)– A new charter school is just months away from opening and Washington County parents aren’t any closer to an agreement on the issue. 

News 5 has received countless emails, Facebook messages and even phone calls on the new, Woodland Preparatory school. 

Its board tells us the site’s construction should be completed by some time in July, with the school opening for the 2019-2020 academic year. 

So far, parents have enrolled about 100 students. Woodland Prep’s board estimates about 200 will be enrolled by the start of the school year. 

Meanwhile, other parents are standing strong with Washington County Public Schools. They tell News 5 they’re concerned about the cut in funding from losing several hundred students to the charter school. 

A statement from Washington County Public Schools says; 

“It is the position of our office that all parents have the right to choose the appropriate and desired educational option for their children.  The Charter School law was established to give parents that choice when they have no good choices.  That is not the case in Washington County where our district  scored a “B” on its latest state report card and does not have a single failing school. We also have no school zones so parents are free to choose any school within the district.

Therefore, we strongly believe this proposed charter school is  a waste of tax dollars. Like most other rural school districts across this state , we are losing enrollment that has already greatly impacted the district’s financial stability.   Losing any additional students, even a few to this proposed school will greatly damage an already overburdened budget and will add an eighth school in a county will about 17,500 people.  

We continue (as we always have) to invite those wanting a different choice to join us in our efforts to improve our current schools instead of causing more problems for them.”

News 5 has also reached out to Woodland Preparatory’s Board. Here’s its response;

“Our mission is to equip our students with 21st century skills by providing a safe and collaborative environment which will cultivate their individual academic and social development.  Our goal is to prioritize the education of our children in our rural county in a manner to groom successful leaders of tomorrow; and to be accountable for ensuring a rich, comprehensive educational environment where academic excellence and high expectation is the standard.  

We have selected the best innovative educational school model to provide an option to our community members and students. We are also prepared to hire the best teachers and administrators locally to serve our students.
There are nearly 900 students who attend surrounding county schools and must travel daily because of lack of quality education.  We simply want better for our kids and the county.

Moving forward, we do not seek to be in competition or at odds with other private or public schools but seek to add value and educational choice for students.”


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