- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 19, 2014

ALEXANDRIA, La. (AP) - The Rapides Parish School Board is moved forward in the process of vetting an application for a public charter school in Alexandria.

At a special meeting on Tuesday, The Town Talk reports (https://townta.lk/1gFOoLt ) the board hired New Millennium Education LLC as a consultant to review the application from Charter Schools USA for Alexandria Charter Academy.

State law mandates that local school boards hire a third party to review applications for a Type I charter school, which is a partnership between the school and the district.

The board has 90 days to make a decision on the application. If it denies the application or takes no action, Charter Schools USA can apply directly to the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Kimberly Williams, owner of New Millennium Education, said the first step is to set a timeline with the board. She expects to provide a first draft recommendation within 30 days, but said some reviews can take the full 90 days. She works out of Pointe Coupee Parish.

New Millennium was the low bidder of three companies with a maximum bid of $8,000. The contract includes creation of a policy for the district to use now or in the future for Type I or III charter schools; review of the application that includes an interview with all involved parties; and a recommendation based on the application.

Charter Schools USA operates 58 schools with more than 50,000 students across seven states, according to its website.

The company has four existing schools in Louisiana, with five more to open this fall. Its first Louisiana school opened in Lake Charles three years ago.

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Information from: Alexandria Daily Town Talk, https://www.thetowntalk.com


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