Archive for Thursday, January 15, 2004

District gets state feedback on biotech charter school

January 15, 2004

A Eudora biotechnology charter school is an "intriguing proposal" according to the state, but the school district won't have official word whether the idea will become a reality until next month.
Eudora USD 491 submitted the idea to the Kansas Department of Education in December. In early February, an independent board will review charter school proposals, which the Kansas State Board of Education will discuss at its Feb. 10 meeting.
If the plan was accepted, Superintendent Marty Kobza said the state would work with the district on developing the idea into a grant.
The Board will approve or deny petitions March 9. If awarded the charter school, Eudora would be notified March 10, with grants then becoming available to start the planning process.
The state was essentially looking for charter schools that would challenge traditional learning environments and had districts thinking outside the box, Kobza said."It's encouraging schools to go and experiment," Kobza said.
Although he didn't know how many other charter proposals Eudora was up against, Kobza said the state had $8 million to distribute over three years however it saw fit.
Recent interest from legislators and economic development groups in boosting biotechnology jobs and research in the state and the greater Kansas City metropolitan area wouldn't have a direct impact on USD 491's efforts, Kobza said.
"What we would hope is that we feel that we have been a pioneer with this," he said. "We feel very excited others are seeing our ideas have merit."

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