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Charter School Hearing Tonight in Livingston

University of West Alabama

Residents of Sumter County with questions about a proposed charter school can voice their questions tonight.

The Alabama Department of Education is coordinating a public hearing on the proposed new school to be held in Livingston. The University of West Alabama is hoping to open a charter school catering to children from pre-kindergarten through fifth grade. The proposed school would teach science, math, technology, and art.

Charter schools tend to have specific areas of focus, such as Alabama's first charter school, Mobile's ACCEL Academy. Opening this fall, ACCEL targets students who have dropped out of traditional high school and focuses on technical and workforce education.

One complaint about charter schools is that they take money from public schools in the area. Logan Searcy represents the charter school program for the state. She says switching money from school to school already happens in the current system.

“Say one school system is the city and one is the county, but they’re located in the same area. If a student leaves the county system and goes to the city, the money leaves the county and goes to the city, because the money follows the student. So we’re looking at the same thing here.”

The public hearing starts at 5:30 p.m. this evening and is expected to last one hour. The event will be held at the Livingston Civic Center.

Pat Duggins is news director for Alabama Public Radio.
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