Propel looks into charter school in Pittsburgh's Hazelwood section
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Since 2006, Hazelwood has been without a public school, but Propel Schools wants to change that by starting a K-8 charter school next fall.
Jeremy Resnick, executive director of the Propel Schools Foundation, said the community asked Propel to open up the school.
The Pittsburgh Public Schools board will conduct a public hearing on the proposal at 6 p.m. Oct. 22 at the board headquarters in Oakland.
Mr. Resnick said Propel plans to use the former St. Stephen Catholic School building, which closed in 2005.
Propel is planning a K-8 school with 420 students. It would begin with 300 students in K-6.
The Rev. Tim Smith, executive director of Center of Life, a community empowerment organization in Hazelwood, said several groups worked toward getting a charter school in Hazelwood.
He said Hazelwood has limited transportation and, especially for families with young children, a school in the community would better enable parents to participate in their children's schooling.
But the groups didn't want just any school but one that "can meet the needs of our community as well as offer a high level of education to our students," he said.
Rev. Smith, who has two children enrolled at Pittsburgh CAPA 6-12, said the push for a charter does not "express in any way, shape or form that we are against the Pittsburgh Public Schools."
Propel also is trying to open a charter school next fall in Sto-Rox, where its proposal was rejected by the board. It is in the process of appealing that decision.
Propel already operates nine charter schools under seven charters.
Charter schools are public schools; students do not pay tuition but their home districts pay a fee set by the state.
The schools are run by a separate board but must receive a charter from a home district in the case of a bricks-and-mortar school or from the state in the case of a cyber charter school.
First Published October 2, 2012 12:00 am