MPS holds public hearing to get response to possible charter school conversions

MPS considers charter conversion plan

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Will Montgomery Public Schools turn three of its facilities into charter schools? It’s on the table. The school board held a public meeting Monday night to discuss the proposal.

At the meeting, the Montgomery Education Foundation presented to the Montgomery County Board of Education its proposal of converting some MPS schools into charter schools. Those in attendance were asked to voice their opinions on the matter. Many of them did not like the idea, including Ja’mel Brown.

“We’re tired of these people continuing to try to take historical black schools on the west side of town to turn them into charter schools,” Brown said.

The three schools up for conversion are Davis Elementary, Nixon Elementary and Bellingrath Middle School.

“Build a charter school," Brown said. "Experiment to see how it goes and then we go from there, but don’t come over here. Why out of all the schools in Montgomery you’re going to come to the west side of town and experiment on the kids on the west side of town. We’re not your experiment. Don’t experiment on us.”

But MPS Superintendent Dr. Ann Roy Moore said that’s not the case.

“You’re looking at at risk schools and at risk, that typically is based on students who are not performing well academically, usually number one and maybe some other factors, so that is how the foundation went about selecting this group of schools,” she said.

No decision on the proposal was made Monday night, but the board will consider the proposal at its meeting Tuesday night.

The school board revisited the idea of creating conversion charter schools in July with MEF’s proposal. MEF had originally proposed converting four facilities to charter schools but reworked the plan to include just three after the board considered and struck down the idea in February.

Under the MEF proposal, MPS would still own the facilities and employ personnel, but MEF would oversee day-to-day operations and curriculum. And, by law, there would be no changes to any zoning or student population.

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