The group behind a proposed charter school geared toward low-income, minority students plans to ask the Madison School Board to vote again next month on the school, which would open in 2013, a year later than initially planned.
Three board members have shared their support of the motion, Urban League of Greater Madison president Kaleem Caire said in a release announcing a press conference scheduled for today.
“Everywhere I go people are disappointed,” Caire said in a phone interview, acknowledging that he probably doesn’t come into contact much with people who are opposed to the school.
But support is growing among people who originally were against it, he said.
“There’s been a whisper campaign out there that folks have put on the street to try to undermine this effort, and we’ve just decided that this is too important for Madison, too important for our children, and it would be a benefit to all of us,” Caire said.
In December, the board voted 5-2 against opening Madison Prep in fall 2012. After the vote, board member Ed Hughes proposed a separate motion to open the school in fall 2013, after the current contract with Madison Teachers Inc. expires. The motion did not receive a second and was not considered by the board. However, under Robert’s Rules of Order, motions that do not receive a second can be reintroduced.
Caire wouldn’t reveal which board members he said support a new vote, wanting to announce that at the press conference.
Board members James Howard and Lucy Mathiak, who voted for opening the school in 2012, said they likely would support opening the school in 2013. Howard, who is board president, said he would have to consult with the administration before committing to a vote in February. Hughes could not be reached for comment.
You have free articles remaining.
“There are some more important things on the table,” Howard said Thursday night, referring to the superintendent’s evaluation and contract renewal, which must be completed by Feb. 15. “I’ve got to keep the board focused on those things.”
Maya Cole, an early supporter who voted against the 2012 proposal, said she would not support the school opening in 2013 because she has concerns that it would primarily serve students who already perform well in Madison schools and exclude special education students.
“It’s a bad plan,” Cole said Thursday night. “This is crazy that this has gotten this much legs.”
Other board members who opposed the school couldn’t be reached for comment Thursday night.
Superintendent Dan Nerad said Thursday he didn’t receive notification of the proposal until about a half hour after the media were notified.
“We’ll just have to see where this goes,” he said.
Caire would not say whether the push for a new vote negated the idea of opening Madison Prep as a private school this fall.
“We’re concentrating this particular vote on getting the school open as a public charter school in 2013,” he said.