Public questions about a plan that moved six campuses and about 40% of Longview ISD students to a new charter school system could be answered in a series of public meetings set from late September through early November.
Board President Ginia Northcutt said Monday the meetings would answer questions about the new East Texas Advanced Academies, which was established this fall as a new nonprofit district within a district overseen by an appointed board. Cynthia Wise, former principal at Forest Park Middle School, serves as the CEO.
The six charter campuses are East Texas Montessori Prep Academy, Forest Park Magnet School, Bramlette STEAM Academy, J.L. Everhart Elementary School, Johnston-McQueen Elementary School and Ware Montessori School.
The meetings will be from 6 to 7:15 p.m. on four evenings: Sept. 23 at East Texas Advanced Manufacturing Academy, Oct. 1 at Forest Park Magnet School, Oct. 8 at Judson STEAM Academy and Nov. 5 at Longview High School.
Northcutt, who is the board’s Place 4 trustee, said the meetings will be moderated by the district’s Texas Education Agency representative.
The academies plan was established under Senate Bill 1882, a state law that lays a pathway for a nonprofit charter school group to operate public school campuses. District officials have hailed the charter option as a way to fund innovative education opportunities and receive a significant infusion of state money for the new system.
Also at Monday’s board meeting, trustees approved a bond refinancing that officials said could save taxpayers $35 million over the life of the bonds. It applies to a $267 million bond issue approved by voters in 2007.
Chief Financial Officer Joey Jones said lower rates will cut interest, saving the district money.
The district has refinanced bonds in the issue, which built several new and renovated other campuses, several times.
The board also approved Superintendent James Wilcox’s recommendation to fire Dale Bohannon, who was the director of transportation.
The firing comes after transportation issues the first week of school where parents reported issues locating their children.