FUNDING AND FACILITIES
The school has a proposed starting budget of about $2.5 million. Most of the spending goes toward teacher salaries, which are projected to average about $60,000 annually per position.
Schansberg said administrators would make about the same amount of money as teachers and spend part of their time as instructors in classrooms. The idea, he said, is to level the playing field between teachers and administrators to help encourage a positive culture and make it easier for teachers to buy into any changes.
Community groups have already pledged some resources to the school. The Boys and Girls Club of Kentuckiana has agreed to provide after-school care for students until 7 p.m. They may offer more services, but won’t agree to more until a charter is approved, according to the application.
Brandon’s House, a counseling center in New Albany, has agreed to write a grant for a full-time counselor for the school.
But a location hasn’t been selected yet.
Schansberg said he hopes they can work with Greater Clark County Schools on any vacant buildings they have available. If not, they’ll look for warehouse or other space they can renovate for their needs.
State law now requires districts to allow charter schools to use unused district buildings, but some districts have leased buildings to their internal building corporations to hold onto their assets.
“That’s the first choice,” Schansberg said. “That’s the letter of the law. The public has already paid for the buildings and charter schools are public schools. Hopefully, they’ll cooperate.”
In the first year, they expect to bring in 360 students, most of which they expect in the sixth grade. By their third year of operation, they project topping out at 630 students.
Schansberg said there’s a possibility that as the school continues to operate, they could expand to fifth grade or even lower levels, but the board doesn’t have concrete plans on the issue.
As the school prepares for the charter review next month, Sexton said he’s excited about the opportunity to start something new in the region.
“Obviously, if the proposal is given the go-ahead, it’s going to be a very involved school,” Sexton said. “I believe the charter school in Southern Indiana is the future. It’s an opportunity for parents and students to have choice.”