DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — Over 100 Dothan citizens filled the sanctuary in Greater Buelah Church to give comments on the controversial proposed plan to start a charter school.
And more appeared to be for the idea –Barnabas School of Leadership gave a presentation about the plans for the school but mainly pointed out flaws they have researched within Dothan City Schools like the declining test scores and a growing proficiency gap between white and minority students.
“It is not fair for the school district to bind them and bound them to a school district education when it is not working,” resident, Dechauna Tensley said. “Allow parents to have a choice for their student to get specialized and individualized help.”
“You have kids that are failing and we don’t find out about it until it’s time for them to change grades,” Yolanda said.
“If we stay on this charted course we would look like Birmingham School System, Montgomery Public Schools what happened to them was a practice of missteps that led them down that road,” John McGlown said.
If a charter school was to come to Dothan, Dr. Coe says the public school system would lose about 200 students and about three million dollars in funding.
Those who are against charter schools stated other reasons to consider.
“Public charter schools are exempt from state teacher requirements, they can limit the number of students they enroll,” Emily Hoekenga said.
“DCS has taken steps to keep kids safe like a school resource officer in every school and thermal imaging cameras, will this school have it?” Rhonda Hicks said. “Also, what will be the diversity at this school? The charter school law is no segregation,” She added.
“I haven’t seen hardly any parents at school board meetings you wanna fight but don’t want to fight for what’s there just get involved and make a difference,” District Six board member Aurie Jenkins said.
And there were a few people that were stuck in the middle of the debate and wanted both sides to come together for a better education for their children.
“Let’s use this platform we have tonight to grow and make Dothan City Schools better, tonight is a stepping stone let’s build each other up instead of segregating each other,”
The formal application will be reviewed by the Charter School Commission in early August.