Charter School Proposal Fails

By: Paige Lambrecht
By: Paige Lambrecht

One school building on Madison's east side actually holds 2 elementary schools.

Two years ago, the Nuestro Mundo school opened inside Frank Allis elementary.

The charter school teaches a bilingual curriculum that focuses on multiculturalism.

That sort of non-traditional approach to education is what Kristina Navarro-Haffner, a proponent of the proposed Studio School, wants to emulate.

"We would just like to offer another option, another alternative and this particular charter school, the Studio School would have an arts and technology emphasis."

"I think cost is the main factor," said school board president Johnny Winston, Junior before the board voted against the proposal 4 to 2 Monday night.

Winston says an additional school was a tough sell, with a projected $10 million budget shortfall next year.

Supporters, about 20 of whom showed up at Monday's school board meeting, say the school would incur minimal start-up funds, as long as they followed Nuestro Mundo's model of shared space and utilized federal money.

"This school could qualify for up to $550,000 in federal funding over its first four years of existence," says Navarro-Haffner.

But board members know any new project will likely cost the district some money.

"Whether it's administrative time or transportation costs or books or anything that deals with education is gonna cost you money," says Winston.

Whether supporters will try again, they can't, at least not with the same proposal.

The window to receive those federal funds has closed.

In order to get that money, they need to start the whole two-year process over again with a new school model.

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