Parsons Presents Charter School Proposal

Do we detect a rising interest in charter schools? Well, good.

The latest entrant: the board of USD 503 Parsons would like to set up a charter school with an emphasis on health care careers. The decision is now up to the state board of education.

“The petition, if approved, would establish Parsons Health Careers Academy to prepare students for health care professions in Kansas and Labette County.

The academy would be a separate school within the district, but would share facilities, teachers and other resources with PHS, superintendent Deborah Perbeck said.

The district wants to recruit students in grades 10 through 12 who are interested in health care professions for the academy. As middle school students and freshmen, students would be given tests to determine their interests and their aptitude in those areas of interest.”

The school would also use an increased emphasis on math and science, as well as let students shadow health professionals.

We must credit the folks in the district with seeing an option that some students might be interested in. On the other hand, it appears that this school would be more like an alternative or a magnet school–run by the existing district–rather than a true charter school. In other states, charter schools are often authorized by public universities, a state board of education, a state board specifically charged with overseeing charter schools, or other agencies.

The point may seem pedantic, but it’s all about encouraging competition through giving multiple authorities the authority to oversee new schools.

Source: “PHS petitions state for charter school,” The Parsons Sun, November 21, 2006.

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