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BREAKING NEWS

W’bago charter school explained

By Staff | May 23, 2009

A steering committee wanting to convert Winnebago’s elementary school into a charter school made its pitch to local residents Wednesday night in the school’s lunchroom.

“We’re here to get your support and get you enthused,” says Scott Robertson, a member of the committee. “We want to spread the enthusiasm the committee has. We want positive thinkers.”

The more than 60 people in attendance watched a 30-minute video of a charter school in Nerstrand, which has been in operation since 1999 and considered one of the best in the state.

Before showing the video and answering questions, Robertson and Steve Schonrock rattled off selling points of a charter school.

Robertson says now is the time to convert the Winnebago facility because the charter school concept is growing ‘big time,’ in the state and across the country.

Schonrock backed Robertson’s claim, saying there will be nine new charter schools by this fall and another 60 before 2011.

Robertson says his committee appreciates the support Blue Earth Area School board has given them so far.

He says his group isn’t trying to save the school, but rather enhance educational opportunities.

“We have no agendas. We want to make better what we already have,” says Robertson. “The school is Winnebago’s biggest asset. It deserves our attention and the best we can do.”

Committee members don’t see the charter school as hurting the district because its students will eventually attend middle school and high school in Blue Earth.

For more of this story, see this week’s Register.