Updated 06/06/2012 11:07 PM
Hearing held over charter school change
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ITHACA, N.Y. -- The debate over charter schools is re-ignited in Ithaca. New Roots Charter School opened three years ago, but administrators are looking for a revision to its charter.
At a hearing Wednesday, parents, teachers, community members and many of the students gathered to express their opinions on the change.
The school originally projected 225 students would be enrolled in the ninth through 12th grade program, but is now seeking to lower that number to 200. Administrators say the change is due to crowding in the small school facilities, which now holds 174 students. But some accused administrators of seeking a loophole to avoid breaking the charter agreement with lower than expected enrollment.
While students sang the school's praises, opponents say the revision is unwarranted.
"My concern is that the charter school needs to be held accountable to the plan that it submitted. And it's been in existence for three years and it's asking for a revision to its charter," said Ithaca resident Belinda Thompson.
"It's done a lot for me," said New Roots senior Kelsie Torello. "My grades have gone up. I got into my first choice college, Mount Holyoke, whose hoodie I'm wearing today. And I feel a lot better about myself and where I'm going with my future."
A decision from the Charter Schools Institute is expected by the end of the month.