Public hears plans for proposed RTP charter school
Posted February 13, 2012
Updated February 14, 2012
Durham, N.C. — A proposed charter school at Research Triangle Park got positive feedback at a public forum Monday evening, but the plan has drawn heated criticism from the Durham County school board, which says it will hurt education.
Plans for Research Triangle High School, which would focus on science, technology, engineering and math, were laid out for parents and community members Monday evening at the downtown Durham County library.
"We need more students to become much more accelerated in scientific literacy," said Pamela Blizzard, executive director of the Contemporary Science Center.
The organization applied for a charter school that, if approved, would open in August.
State education leaders will vote on that proposal March 1.
Students at the school would get both face-to-face and digital instruction at home and then apply what they've learned in the classroom, Blizzard said.
Grandparent Faye Brandon said it's a good idea.
"We call ourselves 21st Century learning, but there is not much 20th Century learning going on," she said.
Some Durham County education leaders, on the other hand, signed a resolution opposing the high school, saying it would draw funding away from public schools. They also say the school has barriers to admission that would lead to increased segregation.
Those barriers include inadequate transportation, food and technology for children who need it to participate, the resolution states.
Blizzard, though, said the school will work with parents to ensure no child is excluded for lack of means.
Members of the Durham County school board could not be reached for comment.