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WASTE WATCH: Springboro Exploring Charter School

SPRINGBORO -- The Board of Education is looking at some alternative ways to educate kids. Namely, a charter school. But many parents in the community are puzzled as to why they need it, since the district is already so successful.

In Mr. Lotspaih's fifth grade class, students are learning about electrical currents. These Springboro school students continue to perform very well on state testing, with the district earning Excellent with Distinction status again and again.

But the Board of Education is looking into a Conversion school, also known as a Charter school. Kelly Kohls, the Board President, explains, "Is there a way that we can do better? Even though we're an excellent with extinction district, which is fabulous. We're meeting and exceeding state standards, we still have to investigate opportunities to give them more."

Nearly a dozen parents contacted us who disagree.

"It's a solution without a problem to solve," said David Bowman, who has two kids in the district.

The thinking is that a Charter school could focus on and better engage gifted kids, and kids with special needs.     Bowman's son, Jude will likely fit into both categories and his daughter, Ella, is considered gifted. He's thrilled - as many other parents are - with what Springboro already offers.

"I see the compassion and the care that these teachers give to our kids and I see how every kid is challenged regardless of where they are on the academic spectrum," said Bowman.

The Board voted 4-1 to hire the Callender Law Group, and have all but finalized a contract. Phase I would look at the need in Springboro. Creating a financial model and outlining the academic programs. It would cost taxpayers $5,000. Phase II would be much more detailed. It would be a model of exactly how they would implement the school. That's a $10,000 bill.

"From a taxpayer perspective, it seems like a bad investment of resources. Our schools deliver incredible value," said Bowman.

Kohls says the board is keeping an open mind.

"We always have to be asking the questions. Is there a way that we can do better?"

The school board meets next Thursday, and it is likely the contract would be finalized then. It is expected to be a packed house.
WASTE WATCH: Springboro Exploring Charter School


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