RPS votes to renew charter school for 5 years - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

RPS votes to renew charter school for 5 years

Patrick Henry School of Science and Arts (Source: NBC12) Patrick Henry School of Science and Arts (Source: NBC12)

The school board has voted to renew the charter for the Patrick Henry School for Science and Arts (PHSSA).

The charter will be renewed for five years. Board member Jonathan Young made the motion, and the superintendent agreed to renewal and suggested it.

The Board voted Monday night to approve the renewal.

"RPS has the full ability to either keep us open or close us down," said Sarah McLillard, Chair for the PHSSA Board of Directors.

RPS funds the charter school at 75 percent of what other schools would receive. The charter raises the rest on its own.

 RPS Board Member Kenya Gibson says charter schools remove funding from traditional public schools, but Gibson supports renewing Patrick Henry charter. She says she's against the creation of additional charter schools.

PHSSA provides year-round school, hands-on and project-based learning. The school teaches outside of many district policies, but in exchange, it has to prove performance to the school board to renew its charter and earn funding.

McLillard says they have been performing at the level necessary for RPS.

"We've been fully accredited the last two years," said McLillard.

Though it's not just the accreditation - the idea of a charter school is controversial. Some people don't like the idea, simply because some charter schools select which students are allowed to attend.

PHSSA does not work that way. It uses a lottery system that any K-5 student could enter.

"It's not picking and choosing kids that we want to, so that we have higher scores or something like that. It's random," said McLillard.

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