Fort Smith School Board Voices Opinion On Charter School

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FORT SMITH (KFSM) – Fort Smith Educators are expected to decide whether to move forward with a proposed charter school during a meeting on Monday (Sept.28).

The charter school would offer students many different ways of learning. This includes, “real-world internships,” a personalized course of study, and a creative approach to education. The reason for the school is for students to connect with real world learning.

If approved, the school’s founder said the charter school would open with 150 students in 10th grade, then add 150 each year until grades 10-12 are filled.

Back in August, the Fort Smith School District Superintendent Benny Gooden asked the school board to decide if the district will oppose the charter school. But the school board members said they wanted to hear from the school’s founder before making a decision.

Meanwhile, Fort Smith Educators have expressed concern over losing students to the charter school and also losing the state funds. According to school officials, the potential loss in the state funding could reach $1 million. School board members said this would be the hardest thing for all of them.

The Fort Smith School Board will decide their official stance — support, oppose, or no stance — at tonight’s meeting.

The meeting will start at 5:30 p.m. at the public schools service center on Jenny Lind Road.

The  Charter Authorizing Panel for the Arkansas Department of Education will consider the application at its Oct. 14-15 meeting. Then they will pass along their recommendation to the State Board of Education, who has the final vote.

If the decision does get approved, the new charter school would be the first one in the Fort Smith area.


  • parr1948

    You are correct! It does start at the top. I am unable to attend the meeting tonight to ask this question to Benny and Jim: why are you worried about losing state funding when both of you refused $1.1 million dollars from private donors (Southside parents) because they would not match the funds for Northside? I will provide more information when they come begging for a millage increase.

  • Terry Miller

    Funny how they didn’t mention Haas Hall. It’s a Charter school in NWA. It is BUSTING at the seams. It is also one of the top 15 high schools in the nation. There are a few scholars that make the trip up the hill and back everyday just to attend. Yeah, it’s really that good!

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