Updated 04/04/2012 09:16 AM
Charter school could be established in Middletown
Middletown City School District says they continue to face layoffs after funding is cut. School officials say year after year, the state has stripped away more money. As YNN's Elaina Athans tells us, the district says its financial problems could get a lot worse with one proposal.
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MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. -- "There's always a good time really to open a school," said Liberty Public Charter School Board of Trustees Vice President Monica Medina-Finsen.
A charter school could be coming to Middletown. It would be a first for the area. There's a proposal to build the Liberty Public Charter School. An already established Board of Trustees says it'll give parents a choice.
"If they don't think that the public school is meeting the needs for the children, they will have the option now," said Medina-Finsen.
The Middletown City School District says the opening would greatly impact the district mostly because of the cost.
"(It's) of very serious concern to us," said Middletown Superintendent Dr. Kenneth Eastwood.
The financially squeezed District would have to pay for Middletown students to attend the school.
"For every 74 of our students that go to that program, we have to cut over a million dollars of programs and staff," said Eastwood.
This charter school proposal comes as a research group released a new study saying student enrollment numbers have dramatically dipped throughout the Hudson Valley. The group Pattern for Progress says more schools are closing than ever before.
"Absolutely school districts are facing an enrollment crisis. And that’s true for Orange County," said Adam Bosch from Pattern for Progress.
The Charter wants to open as many public schools are closing their doors because of money or the lack of it.
"Since 1999, we were able to find 25 public schools that have closed in the Hudson Valley. That’s just in a 13 year span," said Bosch.
The charter school trustees say funding though shouldn't be a problem.
"We can get private donors and that's wonderful. It gives us freedom," said Medina-Finsen.
The proposal requires a sign off from the SUNY system. Trustees hope to have children in classrooms by fall 2013.
There will be a public forum Wednesday night to discuss the plans. It starts at 6:30 at the Middletown Board of Education Office.