State May Change Rules on Charter Schools

State May Change Rules on Charter Schools

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A request from a Logan charter school to boost its enrollment has prompted a state Board of Education committee to suggest changing state rules to require local school districts be notified of proposed changes in charter school enrollment.

The Thomas Edison Charter School wants to increase its enrollment from 365 to 480 students.

"This would provide more openings for students in the community and help us become more financially stable," said Thomas Edison School Board President Jim Peterson.

Charter schools operate much like private schools but use state funding and abide by state rules.

State board member Denis Morrill of Taylorsville, in a meeting of the state board's Law and Policy Committee Friday, said school districts in which the charter school resides should be notified of potential enrollment-increase requests before the request is approved by the state.

Charter school enrollment can affect the regular school enrollment, he said.

"I don't want the district to feel ambushed," Morrill said. Board member David Moss, of Sandy, agreed.

"We should at least allow the district the opportunity to respond," he said.

In this case, Cache and Logan school districts would be informed of the charter school's request.

Board member Janet Cannon of Salt Lake City suggested the committee not decide on the Thomas Edison request until the committee can study a possible amendment to its state charter-school rules regarding enrollment-increase approval.

The committee agreed to continue the item until next month's state board meeting.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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