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April 30, 2013

Charter school makes another swing at approval

CLARKSVILLE —

A local educator is taking a third swing at starting a charter school in the region.

Becky Kischnick, a teacher at Parkwood Elementary School in Clarksville, has a proposal for the York Academy of Discovery pending with the Indiana Charter School Board. 

Her charter for the school was rejected by Ball State University’s Office of Charter Schools two years ago, then again last year by the Indiana Charter School Board. 

She said she thinks some of the major deficiencies in the last two applications have been addressed by her team of educators and professionals.

“Anytime that we’ve done the proposal, we’ve gone through it with a fine-toothed comb to address anything that seemed deficient or what they had mentioned,” Kischnick said.

She hopes to open the school in August 2014. The state charter school board will review her application in May.

Claire Fiddian-Green, executive director for the state charter school board, said the last application from Kischnick wasn’t as solid in governance and finance as her board hoped.

“Our board did not feel as if they had made significant gains in planning for a solid board of directors or staffing a school,” Fiddian-Green said. “... There were concerns about the budget that they submitted and whether the school would be financially viable as presented.”

Kischnick said she thought this application addressed those concerns more thoroughly.

But Kischnick and her proposed board have had difficulties in selecting a site for the school. She said with a budget of about $300,000, they’ve had a hard time finding a place both suitable and affordable.

“With the budget, it’s very hard to pick a building that can be within it,” Kischnick said. “Our first choice is in the Clarksville area and the second choice would be in Jeffersonville.”

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