Charter Schools Beyond St. Louis Urban Core?

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A school choice advocate says he's preparing to open three charter schools in the unaccredited Riverview Gardens School District and possibly two in St. Charles County if legislation passes allowing for charter school expansion in Missouri.

The proposal is perhaps the first tangible sign of the pent-up desire by school organizers to set up charters outside the state's urban cores.

Jeff Weiner, a 1977 graduate of Riverview Gardens High School, is working with fellow Riverview Gardens alums and a criminology professor to open an elementary, a middle and a high school in his old school system in north St. Louis County. The district lost state accreditation in 2007.

Currently, charter schools — independent public schools — are allowed only in the St. Louis and Kansas City school districts. For a second year, lawmakers are considering legislation that would allow them in other unaccredited districts and, under some circumstances, anywhere in the state.

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