Tag Archives: renovation

The Case Against Cutting Facilities Funds for Colorado Charter Schools

Over at the Flypaper blog, Mike Petrilli asks the question “Could the recession be good for the charter school movement?” and gets some insightful answers from experts like Todd Ziebarth, Robin Lake, and Bryan Hassel. I’m too young to pretend I know the answer to a big question like that. Please go read what they have to say for yourself. But here in Colorado, I know that charter school leaders see the situation as a challenge. Economic slowdown has cut state revenues, and lawmakers have to look at where to cut the budget. One of the decisions on the table is whether to cut funding to the charter school capital construction fund from $10 million down to $5 million. This money goes to buy or lease property, as well as to do building construction, renovation, and major maintenance. The proposed cut might not be a huge deal if charter schools were funded equitably in the first place. You can listen to Colorado League of Charter Schools executive director Jim Griffin explain the handicaps public charter schools face in facilities funding, and what sort of effects the proposed reduction might have: I can’t answer big questions like the ones Mr. Petrilli […]

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Colorado Judges Rule in Favor of Funding Fairness for Charter Schools

Okay, the year is almost over. And you won’t see me writing anything here between now and 2009. So I thought it a good idea to close out 2008 with a post that has some good news. In yesterday’s Rocky Mountain News, Berny Morson reported on a Colorado court decision that almost got completely overlooked. But it definitely is good news: School districts must apply the same funding rules to charter schools as they do other schools, the Colorado Court of Appeals has held in a Fort Collins case. At issue is a provision inserted by the Poudre R-1 school board in the contract that governs the Ridgeview Classical Schools, a charter school. The provision allowed the district to reduce financial support to Ridgeview when students transfer out. [link added] Basic and simple fairness, right? Students should benefit from the same funding rules whether they are in a traditional public school or a public charter school. Either it’s a good idea to take funds away from a school when a student transfers after the fall attendance count, or it’s not. It shouldn’t be a good idea for charters and a bad idea for others, or vice versa.

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A Glimpse at New Schools: Early College High School Arvada

For students or parents of students on the verge of entering the high school years, a new option is opening up this fall in Jefferson County, just west of the Denver city limits. The Early College High School (ECHS) at Arvada begins its first day of classes for 9th-graders only on August 18. Eventually, ECHS will serve all four high school grades, and is scheduled to graduate its first class in 2012. Authorized by the Charter School Institute board, ECHS at Arvada touts itself as a small school. In fact, the facility space – a former credit union office currently under renovation – will be able to serve only up to 450 students. But the real appeal of this charter school, located just east of Sheridan Blvd. on 60th Ave., is the design to help kids earn both a high school diploma and up to 60 transferable college credits in their four years. This dual-enrollment program especially is aimed to help young people whose families have limited background and financial resources that would allow them to enter the world of postsecondary education. It’s not too late to enroll in ECHS at Arvada. If you need to find out more, though, […]

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