Charter school opening steps away from DISD high school

A new charter school is opening down the street from a Dallas ISD high school, illustrating the ongoing battle in the city between public schools and charters.

Traditional school districts are complaining money that comes from the state cut and at the same time given unfunded mandates, all while charter schools are given seed money by the state who then come after ISD students.

Dallas ISD Superintendent Dr. Michael Hinojosa calls it all a dilemma, and nowhere is that dilemma more defined than perhaps in Pleasant Grove.

A-Plus is about to open its 7th through - 12th grade campus just 900 feet from DISD’s Spruce High School.

Jimmy Trotter taught in Allen ISD and served on its school board. He’s now principal at A-Plus Secondary

“We strived there to give our kids the best. I see no difference here, we are striving here to give our kids the best,” Trotter said.

The Planning and Zoning Commission expressed "concern that the proximity... could adversely impact the existing high school" when A-Plus was proposed.

 “One of our chamber members actually stood up and said i know about this charter school and they get it done,” said Dr. Kerlee Brasseux, A-Plus Academy Deputy Superintendent.

Charters like Uptown Academy, Kipp Schools and A-Plus are taking students and more out of Dallas ISD.

“The revenue... the money follows the kid. So if students enroll in that school, which is a brand new building, then we're going to have less revenue to deal with H. Grady Spruce or any other high school in town,” Hinojosa said.

A-Plus Secondary opens August 14 with five campuses in southeast Dallas.    

“We don’t mind competition but we understand that you know we only have limited resources and we take all children,” Hinojosa said.

Hinojosa says the district could open with as few as 155,000 students, 2,000 fewer than last school year.  The charters say they’re just offering a needed and wanted option.

“We have 2,707 students with almost 1,000 on our waiting list, so we're doing something right,” Basseux said. “The parents think we're doing something right.”

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