The Indiana Charter School Board has denied an application to open a new charter school in Dugger.
Dugger Elementary and Union Junior/Senior High School are set to close at the end of this year because of budget constraints.
As we’ve reported, About 300 students are currently attending the two schools in Dugger, and parents have previously said their students would likely transfer from the district entirely rather than attend another school in the district.
They had hoped that opening a charter school would save them from having to choose between those two options.
But Indiana Charter School Board members say the plan for the charter school was not adequate. They said it did not meet the board’s standards in any of its three categories: budget, governance structure and curriculum.
“We are very appreciative of the demonstrated community support that the entire Dugger community provided for this. However, we have to judge these applications on very objective measures and ensure that the school is ready to provide a high-quality education on day one,” Nick LaRoy, the executive director of the Indiana Charter School Board, says.
As the Tribune Star reports, the proposed charter school’s supporters were not satisfied with the board’s reasoning.
During the meeting, the board members asked questions — from recruitment to other school options for the kids — to representatives of the Dugger-Union Community School Corp., Tom Peeler and Greg Ellis.
Peeler, DUCSC superintendent, expressed disappointment at the outcome.
“Everyone is pretty frustrated and really wished the charter school board had lived up more fully to its mission statement and given us a chance,” he said.
Parents say they are not giving up. The group could reapply for a charter in the fall.