Weiner High supporters push for agriculture charter school option

Cadle addresses school board
Cadle addresses school board

HARRISBURG, AR (KAIT) - Supporters of Weiner High School are trying yet another road to keep the school open. They're hoping a conversion charter school for agriculture will work.

They say Governor Mike Beebe has expressed interest in starting up an agricultural charter school and they've also received support from multiple businesses throughout the community.

Monday night, the supporters addressed the Harrisburg School Board with the proposition. Michelle Cadle read a letter from Representative Alexander to Harrisburg School Superintendent, Danny Sample.

"He {governor Beebe} told me he would ask Commissioner Kimbrall to speak with you about delaying closure of Weiner High School for one year to allow time for the charter school application process to proceed," the letter stated.

Weiner High School is set to close on July 1st.

Cadle and Greta Greeno, long time supporters of keeping the school open, addressed the school board Monday night, discussing the sponsorship and support they've garnered in regards to creating a charter school.

"Donations already committed to this project are 16 acres available to plant, cultivate, nurture and harvest crops. Any equipment necessary has been pledged by Greenway and a commitment has been made by Rice Belt Telephone for any technology needed," Cadle told the board.

However, their request for the school board to further work with them on keeping Weiner High open went unanswered in the meeting. The meeting adjourned with no mention of the charter school.

"Very disappointed that they made no motion for any kind of discussion," Cadle said following the meeting.

Cadle said an agricultural charter school is a golden opportunity, not just for Weiner High to stay open, but for all of Northeast Arkansas.

"I think they are passing that up unfortunately but like I said, we're gonna continue on, we're gonna continue working with the Governor," she explained.

She also hopes they can work with the Harrisburg School Board to keep the school open.

"There is that reality that could happen so we're just gonna forge ahead," Cadle said.

Region 8 News requested comment from both the superintendent and school board members on whether they felt a conversion charter school would be a viable option for keeping Weiner High School. They declined to comment.

We'll continue to track this story and give you the latest details as they emerge.

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