In just a short nine months, Pamela Blizzard envisions a new place of learning nestled in the heart of Research Triangle Park – a place with a “porous wall” to encourage partnerships with surrounding companies and that packs students’ minds with more than four years of education during the four years of high school.
Blizzard’s vision, Research Triangle High School, is one of two Durham charter school applications being considered by state education officials for an August 2012 opening. The other Durham application – filed by Alethea Bell, director of human resources for the City of Durham – is Quality Education Academy of Durham.
Also among the 25 North Carolina proposals being considered through the state’s “fast track” application process – reserved for those who believe they can get schools up and running in less than a year – is an application for a school located within the geographic bounds of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools district. The application for that school, named The Howard & Lillian Lee Scholars Charter School, was filed by attorney and community organizer Angela Lee.
The state Board of Education plans to make its decisions on “fast track” applicants in February. Charter schools are public schools – therefore tuition-free – but operate independently of local school districts. The state Legislature eliminated a statewide cap of 100 charter schools this summer.