Sunday, December 12, 2010

A Tale of Two Cities

While the City of Englewood is trying to help a new charter school get land for a building, the City of Broomfield is fighting the opening of a new charter school within their boundaries.

Ben Franklin Academy wants to build a new facility on land at Lucent Blvd and C-470 in Douglas County. The land is owned by the City of Englewood. The city originally purchased the land as a part of it's long-term planning for a water reservoir.

Contrast this effort with the City of Broomfield that is fighting the location of a new charter school, Prospect Ridge Academy, by taking its opposition to the Adams 12 Five Star School District. On Wednesday night, the school board will hear the city's claims that the charter school should not be located within its boundaries. The City of Broomfield doesn't have a charter school currently.

As public schools, charter schools receive a certificate of occupancy through the Colo. Dept of Labor, the same as all public schools. If a municipality disagrees with a charter school site plan, the municipality can take that issue back to the charter school authorizer's board for reconsideration. It's not uncommon for there to be disagreements on the details within a site plan, but this is the first time a city has said they don't want any charter school within their boundaries.

Ben Franklin Academy was unanimously approved by the Douglas County Board of Education in November and plans to open a Core Knowledge school in the fall. The school will begin with grades K-6 and grow through eighth grade. A developer from Utah plans to construct a facility for the new charter school.

Prospect Ridge also plans to use Core Knowledge, but will extend through twelfth grade and have a focus on math, science and technology. Prospect Ridge had to appeal to the State Board of Education earlier this year in order to get the right to open their school.

Update: Boulder Daily Camera article

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