Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Rain 49° Rain
News >  Pacific NW

Parents go to state with charter school proposal

Associated Press

REXBURG, Idaho – Parents who want to start a controversial new charter school in the Bonneville Joint School District are taking their case to the state after accusing trustees in the district of stalling.

The parents withdrew a petition with the Rexburg district on Dec. 30. They said Bonneville school board members showed “negativity” toward the plan and now want the Idaho Charter School Commission to decide on the fate of the school.

The group wants to found a school that’s run according to the so-called “Harbor Method,” a school system that tolerates no teasing or misbehavior to promote learning.

But the method’s founders also are the target of a state investigation over whether public funds have being used to pay expenses of the nonprofit organization that promotes its teaching methods.

State officials said they would have preferred if the parents had resolved their petition at the district level, but are slated to review the proposal at the February commission meeting.

“We would encourage any kind of petitioner to try to work things out with the local district if at all possible,” said Jim Hammond, the charter commission’s chairman. “We really believe charter schools are best served by local districts.”

At its meeting next month, the commission can grant the charter, deny it or send petitioners back to work things out with the district.

Harbor Method schools have been the subject of intense debate in the Idaho Statehouse in Boise, where Republican lawmakers have been enthusiastic about expanding charter school programs. Harbor founder Becky Stallcop has said she’s done nothing inappropriate with state money.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe now to get breaking news alerts in your email inbox

Get breaking news delivered to your inbox as it happens.