EDITORIAL: Keep building, but attract a sponsor

2013-02-07T00:00:00Z EDITORIAL: Keep building, but attract a sponsor nwitimes.com
February 07, 2013 12:00 am  • 

The Charter School of the Dunes in Gary's Miller area is going forward with construction of its new building even though Ball State University decided to stop sponsoring the school. It's a gutsy move, but not the only one the school needs to make.

The $13 million school construction project at U.S. 20 and Old Hobart Road began last summer and is expected to be completed by July. But with Ball State dropping its sponsorship of the charter school, it could be out of business by June 30.

The school has filed an appeal, with a decision possible within 20 days of a hearing.

That's not the school's only option, though. It's also looking at other potential sponsors, including the Indiana Charter School Board and the Gary Community School Corp.

It is urgent the school find another sponsor, one who will insist on rigorous standards and carefully supervise the school to make sure they are implemented.

While it is painful to see a school lose its charter, following through on that threat is key to providing school accountability. What good is a charter if the school isn't held to the terms of that contract?

What's happening with Charter School of the Dunes -- and six other schools recently notified that Ball State is withdrawing its sponsorship -- is no different from the state hiring a turnaround specialist for what is now the Roosevelt College and Career Academy.

At Roosevelt, the school is open under new management. At Charter School of the Dunes, the new sponsor will need to decide what changes are necessary to meet the standards set for the school.

The goal is to make sure children get an appropriate education, not to shut down schools.

So the school is right to continue with construction of the new facility but must do a lot more than cross its fingers in hopes it will attract a new sponsor. Charter School of the Dunes will need to be aggressive in its search for help.

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