Public Hearing on GreenTek Career Academy Charter School

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- A charter school proposal denied several times is getting another look as a state panel reviews GreenTek Career Academy Charter School's efforts to launch.

The concept of a dropout recovery program is so popular; it was standing room only at the public hearing Thursday night for the proposed GreenTek Charter School. The Rockford school board denied GreenTek’s charter application back in September. Kerry Knodle appealed that decision; he's the one who submitted the application. He also runs YouthBuild in Rockford. That program helps former dropouts earn a GED and learn career skills. Many from that program told the state charter school commission, they think GreenTek would give them both career training and a much coveted high school diploma.

“The peers and the staff there, we’re like one big family so we support each other, unlike high school where everyone is worried about doing their own thing. I think with the charter school all of us would be there to support each other to our goals," says YouthBuild member James Taylor.

Representatives from the Rockford school district say, there are plenty of alternative education options now, including Roosevelt High School and the new Ombudsmen program. The district is concerned CCS, the company that would oversee GreenTek Career Academy, filed for bankruptcy in 2011, and doesn't have a sound financial plan for the school.

A decision on the charter school will come in January.


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