Montgomery County Public Schools Board of Education unanimously voted against allowing either of two proposed charter schools to open next year. At this time, the county continues without any charter schools.
Because the the Washington-McLaughlin Charter School for Boys Inc. and The Washington-McLaughlin Charter School for Girls Inc., did not demonstrate a clear understanding of the federal government rules on separate sex schools, the application was turned down during the BOE’s July 27 business meeting.
The Board also unanimously rejected a proposal from The Mentoring Business Learning Institute (MBLI). The school’s plan focused on business education and financial literacy for students in middle through high school regardless of their future career and life choices.
Board members expressed concern with MBLI’s finances, noting it was unclear how it would obtain funding beyond what the state and local governments provide per pupil.Late the evening before the Tuesday meeting, MCPS did receive additional documentation noting the school had secured a bank. But the specific arrangements on what money would cover costs was not detailed, according to Acting Superintendent Monifa McKnight.
“I was primarily concerned about the stability of the financial funding,” said Board President Brenda Wolff. She acknowledged receiving the last minute update, but said, “This did not allow time for detailed analysis.” An initial look at the new information did not appear to show how MBLI would pay for itself, she added.
School Board member Lynne Harris said, “I actually see a lot to like in this proposal,” adding, “I would encourage the group to address the concerns” and consider reapplying. Wolff agreed, “We encourage them to continue working on their vision.’
During the meeting, BOE members also unanimously agreed to correct the name of the Ronald McNair Elementary School to the Dr. Ronald E. McNair Elementary School by the end of this year. The school in Germantown bears the name of McNair, a physicist and astronaut who was the second African American in space. He was killed in the Challenger disaster on Jan. 28. 1986.
The board agreed to the name change, noting in its resolution that it “strives to recognize educational excellence and would like to honor the full breadth of Dr. Ronald E. McNair’s achievements.”