Rockford Public School Board Denies GreenTek Charter School

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ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- A big blow to those hoping to launch Rockford's first charter high school; tonight the school board denied GreenTek Career Academy Charter School's application.

It was a unanimous vote to follow the administration's recommendation to deny GreenTek Career Academy Charter School and the decision was based on four legal reasons.

The administration said the school would be transforming an existing private school into a public school. That's because the school would be housed where the YouthBuild program currently is, however it's a program, not a school.

The administration also said the application failed to provide for students with disabilities and English language learners. They also said it wasn't economically sound. However, charter school leaders say their proposal did address all of those issues.

GreenTek applicant Kerry Knodle said, "I absolutely disagree with all four reasons for denying the application. Truthfully I think they got bad advice from their attorney."

School board president Harmon Mitchell said, "They didn't meet the criteria, the state criteria nor the district's policies so because of that we were forced to vote no, even though my heart is behind them. I firmly believe in what (YouthBuild is) doing right now and it would've been nice to have them as a charter school."

Knodle says he will appeal the board's decision and he says the charter commission can give them a chance to fix any deficiencies.

GreenTek would've been a drop-out recovery school aimed toward 17-21-year-olds.

The board also got an update on the search for a permanent superintendent. So far there's been two applicants. They'll accept internal applications through September 30th.

Also, there's a name change for District 205's gifted program. It's now being called the Renaissance Gifted Academy.

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