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Gary charter seeking new options

Updated: March 3, 2013 6:08AM



GARY — The Charter School of the Dunes is seeking other charter authorizers while it awaits word on its appeal from Ball State University.

Danielle Sleight, president of the school’s board, offered parents an update Thursday. Last week, Ball State announced it wouldn’t renew the Miller school’s 10-year-old charter because of poor academic performance. Ball State also declined to renew the charter of another Miller school, LEAD College Preparatory Academy.

In August, the Charter School of the Dunes broke ground on a $13 million new school on U.S. 20 and Old Hobart Road. Without a charter, the school is in jeopardy.

“We have a petition going with tons of signatures,” said Sleight. “We want to tell everyone, yes we are seeking other authorizers. These are scary times, we need to keep parents assured.”

Other possible authorizers include the Indiana Charter School Board, the Gary Community School Corp., or a state university. Ball State, however, is the lone university, thus far, to authorize charters.

A 2011 bill would have allowed the mayor of Gary to authorize a charter, but that provision was stripped from the bill.

On Thursday, Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson expressed concern at having more vacant buildings in the city if the charter schools close. West Gary Lighthouse Charter School, on the city’s west side, said last week it wouldn’t seek the renewal of its charter.



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