Editorial: Charter flap needs compromise
Vail CO, Colorado
When controversy erupted around the $2.5 million given to the Eagle County Charter Academy to put up a community building, we felt some sympathy toward the Edwards school.
We admire the dedication of the academy’s parents, and their intense focus on their children’s educations. We recognize that the opposition was fueled by the resentment felt by some public-school parents who call the charter a publicly funded private school.
We also wonder why these parents are contesting so aggressively the $2.5 million the school district is offering the charter to build more space for assemblies and other large gatherings. We agree that the buildings in which the charter students attend classes, in the ideal world, should get a major overhaul.
And we nodded our heads when one school board candidate assured us last year’s school bond would have been passed even had charter school improvements been a part of a $150 million to 160 million package. We thought we probably still would have endorsed that successful ballot question.
But some of that sympathy toward the Charter Academy has withered. The school board, in reconsidering the funding, has suggested some other ways the Charter could find the money to gets it school building.
One way would be for the charter school to add one student to each class to increase the money the school gets from the state. The Charter Academy could also get out of its trailers by moving to Battle Mountain High School when those students move to a new facility in Edwards.
The Charter has shot down both suggestions, saying about the first that their whole reason for being is to have 16 ” not 17 ” per class. In rejecting Battle Mountain, the school said it would have no guarantees about who else would be on the campus.
All the while, the Charter Academy, in playing the victim, has insisted it’s not that elitist, publicly funded private school. But the Charter is asking for money from an elected board that can be swayed by irritated voters, so the school may want to rethink an strategy that appears stubborn to many on the outside.
The Charter Academy insists it’s part of the district, and when it goes to the board for help in the future, it may have to realize that the schools with whom it wants to be neighbors have to make compromises on a daily basis.
” Matt Zalaznick for the Editorial Board