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  • Writer's pictureBill Raines

Attendees Says " Charter School is Bringing Life Back to Community"

SPRINGIVLLE - JULY 30, 2022 - In a financial decision in January 2020 the North Lawrence Community School Corporation decided to close Lawrence County's two western elementary schools.

Megan Clark 1st Grade Teacher is getting her classroom ready for students. This is the first time the Springville Elementary will see students since NLCS decided it no longer wanted to keep the elementary school open. Springville Academy will receive students K-8 from Greene, Lawrence and Monroe Counties

North Lawrence Community School $52 Million budget was spending too much money in operations and money from the education budget was used to cover the overtures in spending each year.

However, since the decision by the North Lawrence Community School board the residents of western Lawrence County have worked tirelessly to get the schools re-opened for what both schools were intended for a child's education.

Many of the attendees telling the Lawrence County Zephyr that competition is good in the market place.

Those who attended the public hearing said that by the Springville Community Academy it is bringing life back to the community.

The Springville Community Academy first went to Ball State University as a charter authorizer. But the school could not guarantee the enrollment numbers required by Ball State University.

According to school officials the current enrollment numbers are at 178 students, which is expected to be open by August 8, 2022.

Springville Community Academy reached out to University of Southern Indiana to become the charter authorizer.

Mohammed F. Khayhum Ph.D Provost Professor of Economics, and Steven Bridges Vice-President Finance and Administration spoke of USI interest in being a charter authorizer for the charter school.

As required by Indiana Law the public hearing was required to give the local school corporation an opportunity to weigh in on the impact a charter school will have on them. USI has never chartered a school until last year.

The University though is concerned about the trends in high schoolers not wanting to farther their education at a collegiate level.

Just over half of the Indiana High School graduates in the class of 2020 pursued education beyond high school. This was the lowest point in recent history. The rate was 53 percent.

The public hearing on Friday at Springville Community Academy was well attended

A 2021 report from the Commission on Higher Education said Indiana college attendance rates dropped 6 percentage points in the last five years, with sharp declines happening in the last two years.

USI believes that is has something to offer to the students that attend at the Springville Community Academy. With the location of USI being located closed to Interstate 69 and located in the Southwestern part of the state, it believes it location will serve as good conduit for students who attend the school which will provide K-8 education.

Khayum and Bridges told the Lawrence County Zephyr that the decision will be made quickly as they are working against the August 8th deadline to open the school.

In addition, they told the Lawrence County Zephyr by the looks of the community support on a Friday at 3:30 p.m. showed the community overwhelmingly supports education and the school.

Springville resident Stan Armstrong told the crowd that he recently read a book that noted business corporations that did well was surrounded by good people. Armstrong added that the Springville Community Academy is surrounded by a great board, teachers and community members who support them.

The community members who attended Friday are hoping a high school can be established in the very near future.

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