Tennessee charter school looking to open Montgomery campus
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - A charter school network in Memphis, Tennessee has its sights on Montgomery.
Freedom Preparatory Academy wants to open its first Alabama campus in the capital city in fall 2023. School leaders say they are having conversations with Restoration Baptist Church about a possible location at the former Harrison Elementary School building at 164 E. South Blvd.
According to its website, Freedom Preparatory Academy has five campuses in Memphis. This would be its first venture outside that city.
The charter school says it was founded in 2009 and has grown to more than 2,300 students covering pre-K-12.
In a news release, Freedom Prep said founder Roblin Webb was inspired to pursue a Montgomery location after visiting the city’s National Memorial for Peace and Justice in 2019. She described the proposed expansion as a way to “truly transform education across the South, expanding opportunity and resources to historically marginalized communities.”
The school says the majority of its student body is students of color, saying a reason for the intended expansion in the South is to serve more students of color.
The school system began community engagement in Montgomery in the spring of 2019 as a candidate for operating the conversion of Davis Elementary School, Nixon Elementary School and Bellingrath Middle School. Freedom Prep says it has since met with more than 100 residents and community leaders about their expansion goals.
Montgomery currently has two charter schools in LEAD Academy and LIFE Academy. Another one, I Dream Big Academy, wants to open a Montgomery campus too. They held a public forum this week to explain their proposed partnership with Montgomery Public Schools. This does not mean I Dream Big Academy would be part of MPS, just that the public school system would be the authorizer.
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