November 30, 2021

Charter school approved in Hartnett

Joe McIntyre/staff photographer

Harnett Elementary School in Truxton is shown in this file photo.

After five years of disappointments, the efforts of the Truxton Academy Charter School board paid off Thursday: The SUNY Charter School Institute endorsed forming the charter school.

The school — to be located in the former Hartnett Elementary School in Truxton — is scheduled to open in September 2019 to kindergarten, first- and second-graders.

Jeanetta Laudermilk, one of the school’s supporters, said Thursday that she is excited about the educational opportunities the school will provide.

“What’s going to be so much fun about it is that right in the beginning of a student starting their education, a curriculum is built around that wondering and learning minds that children are so blessed to have, instead of it being worksheets and a strict curriculum that is brought in mainstream public schools,” Laudermilk said.

The next step is for the school to search for a head of school, said Victor Siegle, another proponent.

The Homer Central School District, which has argued the charter school will cost the district about $1.8 million over five years, could not be reached for comment.

Getting approval through SUNY Charter Schools Institute is a more difficult process than an effort that failed last year through the state Board of Regents. The institute has approved 35 percent of its new charter school applications. The closest of the institute’s 185 authorized charter schools is New Roots School in Ithaca. Most of them are clustered around larger cities, including Buffalo, Rochester, Albany and the metropolitan New York area.

The state Board of Regents is expected to vote on final approval of the proposal in November.