School Choice & Charters

Alabama’s First Charter School Gets Green Light to Open

By Arianna Prothero — September 26, 2016 1 min read

Alabama officials have approved the state’s first charter school to open, according to AL.com.

The Alabama Public Charter School Commission voted last week to give the green light for a school to open in Mobile. The school will be is focused on serving students 16-years of age or older who have fallen behind academically or dropped out of school.

The charter school, called Accel Day and Evening Academy, is slated to open next year.

The commission also gave tentative approval for a sports-themed charter school to open up in Huntsville once it gets cleared by a federal judge because the county is under a desegregation order. The school is part of the SLAM charter school network, founded by the rapper Pitbull. The network has schools in Florida and Nevada.

The commission rejected a proposal for a third charter over concerns about the school’s financial plans.

Under Alabama’s charter school law, only 10 new “startup” schools are allowed to open each year in the state. But the law allows an unlimited number of schools to convert to charters.

Alabama is the most recent state to adopt a charter school law, which state lawmakers passed in March of last year.

Only seven states remain without charter laws: Kentucky, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, West Virginia, and Vermont. Those states share many similarities: most are heavily Republican, rural, and have been resistant to other school-choice efforts, such as taxpayer-funded vouchers for private schools.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Charters & Choice blog.