Creating opportunity for more choices in education within the community is our number one goal and one that we are very passionate about. Of the ten in-district charter schools located in Texas, four of them are located in Midland, giving MISD students the opportunity to pursue passions of their own in a flexible and innovative environment.
Educate Midland has recently decided to assist Ben Milam International School, Goddard Junior High, and Bunche Elementary through the process of obtaining 501(c)3 status. This change is very exciting for these three schools and our community, however, this process can be rather confusing. Therefore, we would like to shed some light on how this process will work and what our involvement entails.
While we are responsible for the transition of these three schools from district to charter, we are not running them. They will still proceed as normal, and leadership will be handed over as soon as the process is complete. The Senate Bill 1882, passed in 2017, grants additional funding to school districts that agree to work collaboratively with nonprofit partners, are focused on continuing collaboration, enhancing educational opportunities and ensuring schools provide the best programs for the children served. This opportunity for potential funding opens new doors for a unique and outside-the-box approach to education. Our goal is simply to guide these schools through this transition so that families and children are given the opportunity for choice in the community.
We see the importance of this opportunity for these schools because their structure and vision for the future lends itself to a change in structure to a charter school. In fact, the vision already being implemented through REACH Network, pioneered by Goddard Junior High, was a driving force behind the decision to seek charter school status for the schools in question. REACH Network’s mission is to graduate students from its PK-8 curriculum prepared to fully engage and excel in high school coursework and have a strong path to post-secondary opportunities of their choice.
For a currently operating school or academy to become an in-district charter, charter organization officials fill out an application, which is then reviewed by the district. From there, a performance contract is set up and a 501(C)(3) to operate the charter. Once this is complete, Ben Milam International School, Goddard Junior High, and Bunche Elementary will run as normal, with additional freedom and advanced school subjects for each child to choose from. With the approval of Senate Bill 1882, the REACH Network, and a 501(c)3, these three schools will have successfully transferred from a public school system to a charter system, and we are honored for the opportunity to assist them in achieving this goal.