Va. board approves charter school application

The Virginia Board of Education on Thursday unanimously endorsed an application for a math- and science-focused charter school in Loudoun County, a move that means the proposal will now go to the local school board for final approval.

If approved, the Loudoun Math and IT Academy would open in 2013 and provide intensive math and science courses for students in grades six through 12. It is patterned on a charter school in Anne Arundel County that has some of the highest test scores in Maryland but struggled to keep its doors open this year after allegations of management problems, including consistently negative cash flow.

Virginia education officials endorsed the Loudoun proposal — which is being founded by several former leaders of the Anne Arundel school — in spite of concerns about finances. Looking at such fine-grained issues will be up to the Loudoun school board, said Virginia board member Christian Braunlich.

“If I were a local school board member I would drill down much more into the financial issues,” he said.

There are currently no charter schools in Northern Virginia, but a proposal to open a 7th-12th grade charter school in Fairfax County is pending before that county’s school board.

Emma Brown writes about national education and about people with a stake in schools, including teachers, parents and kids.
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