- The Washington Times - Monday, November 1, 2004

The school board for Anne Arundel County, Md., has received two of three expected proposals for the county’s first charter schools, which could open as soon as next fall, a school official said.

The Chesapeake Science Point Public Charter School in Glen Burnie and the Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP) Harbor Academy in Annapolis have officially requested to open facilities, said Kathy Lane, county director of alternative education.

“The applications will now be reviewed for technical completion and then the board will review it for approval or disapproval,” Mrs. Lane said.

The LITE (Looking Inward Toward Education) Public Charter School in Annapolis also is expected to apply, she said.

Maryland currently has only one charter school — the publicly funded but independently operated Monocacy Valley Montessori Public Charter School in Frederick.

KIPP spokesman Steve Mancini said the Harbor Academy school would feature a college-preparatory middle school program for low-income families. Based in San Francisco, KIPP operates in 38 locations in 15 states and the District.

The Annapolis site would be one of 10 schools KIPP plans to open next year, Mr. Mancini said.

“Through great teaching and an extended school day, we hope to open doors of opportunity for college education” for the children of Annapolis, he said.

Chesapeake Science Point aims to serve middle school students in its first year and eventually include high school students, officials said. The school has been proposed by the Chesapeake Lighthouse Foundation, a nonprofit educational group.

The LITE school has been proposed by the Restoration Community Development Corp., a nonprofit group that supports shelters and food banks, to serve low-income students from kindergarten through high school, officials said.

The state last year passed charter school legislation that requires applications to be reviewed and approved by local school boards.

In June, Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., a Republican, received a $3.8 million federal grant to further his commitment to building more charter schools.

The money, the first installment on more than $13 million over the next three years, awards a maximum of $200,000 in grant money to each eligible school — 95 percent of which must be used for a school’s building, not its staff.

The $13 million could help open about 20 charter schools in Maryland.

• This article is based in part on wire service reports.

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