Jackson-Madison Schools Respond to Hillsdale Charter Application

Advocate Andy

District establishes committee to review charter application, make recommendations

The Jackson-Madison County school system is reviewing an application to open a charter school from American Classical Education (ACE), a network affiliated with Hillsdale College in Michigan.

The district has established an ad hoc committee to review the application and make recommendations to the full school board.

Chairman Pete Johnson said of the interest in charter schools and Hillsdale's application, "We appreciate the interest and passion from citizens on both sides of this issue. We invite the community to follow the public input process and share with us their opinions as we evaluate this application."

The School Board noted that it has been briefed on the fiscal impact of accepting a charter application. The Board indicated that fixed costs - facilities, transportation, meal preparation, and more will remain in place even if students opt for charter schools. That is, the district believes the community should be fully aware of the total cost of opening and continuing to allow the operation of a charter school in the district.

"We look forward to sharing the full details around the fiscal impact of approving a charter application," said Chief of Staff Melissa Spurgeon.

Committee member Olivia Abernathy vowed to evaluate every angle of the charter application and to be completely transparent with the community regarding the fiscal implications of charter approval.

"We will evaluate this application from every angle and share those results with the school board and community," Abernathy said.

Following the ad hoc committee's application review, the body will make a recommendation to the full School Board.

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Andy Spears is a middle Tennessee writer and policy advocate. He reports on news around public policy issues - education, health care, consumer protection, and more.

Nashville, TN

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