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Prince George’s school board approves charter school’s new campus location

The Prince George’s County Board of Education on Thursday approved a recommendation by schools chief Kevin M. Maxwell to allow a charter school to lease a vacant elementary school in Forestville, despite objections from some parents about safety concerns.

The board voted unaminously, without discussion, to permit Chesapeake Math and IT (CMIT) Academy to open a new campus at Berkshire Elementary, which will be known as CMIT South.

Chesapeake opened its first charter school in Prince George’s County in 2011 in Laurel. Last year, the Board of Education approved contracts that allow Chesapeake to expand operations, adding grades to its northern site in Laurel and opening a campus for sixth- and seventh-graders in the southern part of the county.

Chesapeake Lighthouse Foundation, the parent organization, will pay of $221,565.00 for the one-year lease, which begins July 1.

Chesapeake said it will use the school for the year while it looks for a permanent home.

Chesapeake was the second charter operator to ask to lease Berkshire.

Earlier this year, Imagine Foundation requested the space for its programming. Parents complained and the board delayed the vote. Imagine then renegotiated its lease and decided to remain in its Upper Marlboro location.

Ovetta Wiggins covers Maryland state politics in Annapolis.

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