Board denies charter school applications

April 25, 2004|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

The Harford County Board of Education voted last week to deny the applications of two proposed charter schools, but encouraged both groups to reapply once problems with their plans could be worked out.

"I think both of these ideas sound like wonderful ideas. I hope they will come back next year," said school board member Mark M. Wolkow of Abingdon.

Denise Beck filed an application for the Ben Carson Public Charter School, which would serve children with physical and emotional special needs. Class sizes, according to school officials, would be 10 or fewer pupils per class.

Her application needed more detail and clarity on how the school would be managed, the curriculum implemented and the students assessed, officials said in their recommendation.

Rescue One, a state nonprofit group, has purchased a U.S. 40 shopping center near Havre de Grace to open its charter school, which would feature a bilingual Spanish-English program.

But the review panel recommended rejection of the application because the school's faith-based articles of incorporation violate the Maryland Public Charter School law, which requires programs to be nonsectarian.

Maryland adopted its charter schools law last summer. The two groups applied in Harford County in February.

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