Richland 2 Charter School gets Approval

July 16, 2009

COLUMBIA, SC – July 16, 2009 – A charter school giving Northeast Richland parents the option of year-round schooling has received the blessing of a key committee of the S.C. Department of Education.

The Charter School Oversight Committee has approved the Hope Academy Charter School after Hope Academy’s organizing committee met the criteria necessary for approval and demonstrated strong community support. Hope Academy would offer year-round, rigorous curricula for kindergarten through fifth-grade students.

Here in Richland 2, we’re blessed with a great school system with dedicated teachers, hard-working staff and an extremely supportive business community, said Rev. Michael Letts, who serves on the organizing committee. We feel that Hope Academy would be an asset to the Richland 2 community, and we look forward to working hand-in-hand to ensure all of our young people a world-class education and the opportunity to succeed in life.

The Richland 2 school board will have the final vote on the matter.

Across the country, there’s a movement to embrace charter schools, which offer greater flexibility and make expert use of more rigorous curricula and longer school days, said Stephen Gilchrist, an member of the organizing committee. Charter schools allow families who want to stay in public schools another option. They bring much-needed competition, which strengthens both charter schools and traditional schools. Just as competition between two businesses leads both to improve, competition among schools provides an important incentive for all them to set their sights higher.

During last year’s presidential campaign, the value of charter schools was one rare issue on which the two candidates found agreement.