Longview ISD received four applications for partners to run possible charter schools by the deadline Monday. And though the district declined to give details about the applications before a Jan. 21 board meeting, city spokesman Shawn Hara confirmed one was submitted by city officials.
The district’s Chief Innovation Officer Craig Coleman previously said staff will make a formal recommendation to the school board on Jan. 21, and the board will vote on whether to approve entering negotiations with the potential partners on Jan. 29.
On Monday, the district declined to give the News-Journal information on the applicants. On Tuesday, Coleman reported four proposals were submitted.
The district said additional information on the applicants would not be available before the meeting with the school board. The News-Journal has filed an open records request for the documents, which are public information.
Hara confirmed Longview Educates and Prospers is a nonprofit entity created to partner with the district. Hara, City Manager Keith Bonds and Longview Economic Development Corp. President/CEO Wayne Mansfield are the current board members for LEAP.
Hara said more members might be added.
The city announced in October it might create a nonprofit organization to operate the East Texas Advanced Manufacturing Academy and the Longview Early Graduation High School.
The manufacturing academy currently offers career and technology training.
The open “call for quality schools” was issued in December. In the request for proposals, the district said it is looking for four specific types of school models: Career and Technology, International Baccalaureate, Project-Based Learning and Educator Preparation Lab Schools.
Hara said LEAP indicated it was interested in the Career and Technology model.
The Career and Technology model would be an innovative high school plan that provides Career and Technology Education and Work-Based Learning programs, according to the district’s request for proposals.
The open call is part of the district’s attempt to transform all the campuses into Senate Bill 1882 charter schools. The legislation lays a path for a nonprofit organization to operate public school campuses. Longview ISD officials have hailed it as a way to fund innovative educational programs and receive a significant infusion of state money.
Currently, six of Longview ISD’s 13 campuses are SB 1882 charter schools run by the nonprofit East Texas Advanced Academies. Those campuses are East Texas Montessori Prep Academy, Ware East Texas Montessori Academy, Johnston-McQueen Elementary School, J.L. Everhart Elementary School, Bramlette STEAM Academy and Forest Park Magnet School.
The remaining seven noncharter campuses are Ned E. Williams Elementary School, Hudson PEP Elementary School, South Ward Elementary School, Judson STEAM Academy, Foster Middle School, Longview High School and Longview Early Graduation High School.
The call for proposals does not mean the districtwide charter decision is final, Coleman previously told the News-Journal. The district needs its proposed partners for the final application, which is due to the Texas Education Agency on March 31.