Proposed charter school misses SEMO's deadline

Friday, October 19, 2001

A St. Louis neighborhood group has fallen short in its effort to establish a charter school.

The board of directors of the Garden School said it couldn't meet the October deadline set by Southeast Missouri State University's Board of Regents to reapply for a charter.

Southeast's regents canceled the charter in August, less than a year after granting it. Regents said the group had failed to secure a building and financing, conditions essential to keeping the charter.

Regents gave the school board until Oct. 15 to submit a new application, provided that it could acquire a building and the needed financing.

The Garden School board didn't meet those conditions.

Kris Bryant, a member of the Garden School board, informed university President Dr. Ken Dobbins earlier this month that the board couldn't meet the deadline.

"The board members have put in over two years on this project and are extremely disappointed that we fell short of our stated goal: To provide excellent educational opportunities for the children in the four neighborhoods comprising the Garden District of the city of St. Louis," Bryant said in a letter.

The neighborhood group wanted to open an elementary and middle school near the Missouri Botanical Garden. The goal was to provide a heavy science and math curriculum that would have utilized the learning resources of the botanical garden.

Dr. Robert Buchanan, who heads up Southeast's charter school committee, said Bryant told him that the Garden School board couldn't agree on a consultant to move forward with the project.

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