School district plans to transition to conversion charter

School district plans to transition to conversion charter
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

HARRISBURG, AR (KAIT) - The Harrisburg School District could soon become a conversion charter school.

Brandon Craig, high school principal, said the district recently presented their plans to the Charter Authorizing Panel in Little Rock and it approved the application.

"On November the tenth it goes in front of the state board for final approval," Craig said. "Charter kind of gets confused with a private school and this is not a private school at all. It is still a public school."

If the plans are approved next month, the conversion charter transition would allow flexibility for students that Craig said the state does not provide.

"It gives us an opportunity to embed some of the course credits for students' needs so that it gives them freedom throughout the upper-class years."

Students will have free time to go to colleges and universities while in high school.

"What they can do is, say they can go to ASU, they can take their college English class and that can be used as a dual credit for college and also receive their senior English."

Craig said the program really is beneficial to students who are not interested in a 4-year degree.

"It's really going to free those students up that aren't going to a four-year university to start an actual technical program," he said. "So, the hopes are by the time they graduate they can earn a certificate of proficiency through one of the technical areas."

Students would have the opportunity to explore several different technical fields.

With a certificate of proficiency, Craig said students would be able to transition into the workforce immediately after high school graduation with good pay.

"They can choose to go in at the CP level which is just the certificate," Craig said. "They could make you know $18 to $20 an hour or they can continue that degree maybe for another year after high school and make $30 to $40 dollars an hour."

Parents should not expect to pay for the college courses if funding goes according to plans.

"We are hoping that through local funding and private donors in our community that it will not cost our students anything at all."

The district plans to transition to conversion charter next school year. The school would be named Harrisburg College and Career Preparatory.

Copyright 2016 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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