I learned today about a couple of expressions of interest in opening additional charter schools in Little Rock. UPDATE: .UPDATE: Read on about a batch of potential open-enrollment charter schools statewide.
One letter of intent proposes to establish the Little Rock Military Academy in the Little Rock area. It says it would use “the junior ROTC curriculum with a ‘first responders’ electives concentration and focuses on a college-preparatory instructional framework.”
The letter is signed by Rick W. Mills, CEO of the National Education Support Network (which has no quickly discernible trail on Google) and Michael Bakalis, CEO, American Quality Schools Corporation, which operates schools in Illinois and Indiana (not always without critics.) I’ve sent an e-mail to gain more details about the school. Similar military charter schools operate in several states, such as the Air Force Academy charter school in Chicago.
UPDATE: Mills said a site hasn’t been picked yet for the school, which would open in 2021-22 if approved. His company operates 11 military academy charters in four cities and, in addition to LIttle Rock, has proposed to establish one in Northwest Arkansas, with Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers and Bentonville school districts as possible locations.
Another letter proposes the Bridge-2-Success charter school for elementary and middle school grades in the Little Rock School District, but initially opening PreK-3. The proposal from Ronald Wilkerson, who operates the Bridge-2-Success Youth Center in Southwest Little Rock, says it would target at-risk children. He filed a letter of intent last year but didn’t follow through with a formal application.
Today was the deadline to submit letters of intent. Applications are due by June 1. The state review panel will meet on applications in August.
The update link at the top gives you a file with all letters of interest filed today. With a deadline of 5 p.m., more may be coming. More details are provided on the potential applicants.
Others include an agriculture-oriented charter school in Weiner, that community’s continuing effort to undo a consolidation some years ago with Harrisburg. Also: The K-7 Annoor Academy of Bentonville; the Anthony Bland Foundation’s interest in a 7-12 Diamond Cut Performing Arts Academy in Little Rock; Mount Pleasant Baptist Church’s proposal for the Dream Arts Academy eying the former Lynch Elementary in North Little Rock; the Inspire Academy in Hope, a Southwest Arkansas Education Cooperative proposal to serve children who’ve experienced traumatic events or “adverse” childhood experiences; Responsive Education Solutions’ two proposals to start high schools in Hot Springs and Spingdale; for the School of Academic Performance and Career Academy in Osceola, and the William and Mary Elementary proposed by William Scott Loye for downtown Little Rock to teach children with special needs, such as autism, and other at-risk students.