In weeks, the state's appellate court will make a decision on whether to grant a charter school in Rockford’s school district. And both sides of the issue are making their cases.
Since 2001, youth-build, a non-profit organization, has pushed in court to be included in the district. The organization says the program would give kids a new vocational option and reduce the dropout rate.
Rockford school board members, however, say the cash-strapped district just doesn't have the money. "If they have a commitment to recovering dropouts, this is an excellent way to do it, and it's an excellent expenditure of money," Youth Build Executive Director Kerry Knoble said.
"Hopefully we'll achieve what youth build would like to accomplish without jeopardizing our finances any more than they've been in jeopardy," Rockford School Board Member David Kelley said.
Youth build leaders proposed the school to include 250 students. Board members say they haven't discussed the topic in nearly a year.