MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Justin Hampton, the director innovation and strategic initiatives for the Montgomery Education Foundation, said MEF and Montgomery Public Schools is just days away from completing and signing contracts for the foundation’s plan to convert four MPS schools to public charter schools.
Hampton said many hours have already gone into the contract negotiations, with “a lot of collaboration” between MEF, MPS Superintendent Dr. Ann Roy Moore and her staff and state representatives.
The contracts, one for each school, will be “very similar” according to Hampton. They will lay out the timelines, methods, procedures and requirements for how the conversion of each school will take place. Hampton said MEF still hopes to convert the first school, E.D. Nixon Elementary, this fall, but he said MEF will have the flexibility to delay the start if necessary.
Hampton said a number of things have to go into the process.
“We want to make sure we do it right,” Hampton said.
While the goal is still to convert the first school this fall, Hampton said MEF and MPS are more concerned about doing it well than doing it quickly.
State law requires a contract to be completed within 60 days of the state superintendent’s approval of the plan. Hampton said their deadline is Tuesday, and he said the Montgomery County Board of Education must approve the contracts as charter school authorizers from MPS.
“The board, you can really tell, has the sense of collaboration,” Hampton said. “Dr. Moore has been extremely dedicated and involved in the contract work as well. You can really just see the new energy and direction for the system as a whole, we’re just a part of it.”