BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Birmingham School Board members voted to reject two charter school applications. It happened during a late special called meeting Tuesday night.
An external and internal review board used by the school board review boards said Knowledge Unlimited Public Charter School and Magic City Acceptance didn’t not meet state guidelines based on their applications - therefore didn’t meet the school system’s guidelines.
The review boards cited concerns with things like instruction for special needs students at Knowledge Unlimited. The school hoped to serve kindergarten through fifth grade students. The school board unanimously voted to deny the application. During a community comment portion of the meeting, the applicant noted she addressed concerns brought up by the review board during her interview with the board.
One of the concerns brought up by the review boards regarding Magic City Acceptance was a lack of financial information. The school system hoped to serve sixth through twelfth grade students. The vote denying their application was not unanimous by the school board. Some members agreed with community members who voiced concerns saying a school like Magic City Acceptance that is specifically for LGBTQ students is needed in the community.
“Kids now...but past children - who aren’t here today. Like my grandson who would have greatly benefited from going to a school like this,” said one community member.
But, the majority of the board leaned on the recommendation from the review boards.
“As authorizers, we have to do what the law says. We have to do what is mandated by the state of Alabama. If any application is not meeting that criteria, then that would not be acceptable for that deciding body,” said Daagye Hendricks, School Board.
Board Members Dr. Douglas Ragland, Terri Michal, Daagye Hendricks, Patricia McAdory, and Sonja Smith voted in favor of the review board’s recommendations to deny the applications. Board Members Mary Boehm, Mickey Millsap, and Cheri Gardner voted against the review board’s recommendations. Board Member Sandra Brown abstained.
Both potential charter schools can appeal the board’s decision