OKCPS Denies Wheeler District Charter School Application
OKLAHOMA CITY - The plan for a new Oklahoma City charter school has been rejected
The Western Gateway Charter Elementary School was supposed to be apart of the new Wheeler District development, but right now that plan has been halted by the Oklahoma City Public School District.
Developers were hoping to open the dual language school in August of 2020. They say more than 400 students were eventually expected to attend.
At a July 15 school board meeting, members cited two main reasons for turning down the charter school's application, concern over alignment with the district's other schools, and maintaining the academic enterprise zone (AEZ) status.
An AEZ is a geographic area in which a specific percentage of the children qualify for the free or reduced school lunch program.
“The Academic Enterprise Zone requires that there's a 60% free reduced population, explained Supt. Dr. Sean McDaniel. “And, while the criteria seems to meet that now, the concern and some of the questions you all had had to do with maintaining that AEZ percentage or status moving forward."
Only one member of the school board supported the application.
News 9 did receive a statement from Ashley Terry with the Wheeler District development team that said the following:
“The Oklahoma City Public School board's denial of Western Gateway Elementary School's application is extremely unfortunate and unjustified. Public records show the district's own review committee recommended approval of our application. Our hope is the board will reconsider what this unique learning opportunity would offer students in south Oklahoma City. We look forward to reaching an amicable solution with the district.”