Dallas City Council Approves Controversial Charter School

Public School opponents disappointed

The Dallas City Council Wednesday approved a controversial new charter school over strong objections from public school supporters.

The new Uplift Education campus will be at Interstate 35E at Camp Wisdom Road on land that was zoned for retail.

City staff and the Dallas Plan Commission recommended approval of the site for a charter school based on zoning laws. The city council agreed in a narrow 7 to 6 vote.

Five busloads of charter school students, parents and teachers packed the city council chamber for the meeting.

Charter school parents said they prefer the charter school option and want Uplift to expand.

“My kids have been there since kindergarten. They're now in fourth and fifth grade. So, it's a good school. They're reading in high school level,” parent Michelle Rushing said.

Dallas Independent School District Trustee Joyce Foreman led the opposition. She said 27,000 kids who could be in Dallas public schools already attend charter schools, taking with them state-per-pupil funding. Foreman argued more charter campuses could force the Dallas ISD to close public schools, reducing campuses required to serve all children.

Some council members argued the Uplift site along a freeway is a bad traffic location for a school.

But the narrow city council majority agreed to approve the campus.

Uplift officials said they have already invested $500,000 in the new campus and will move forward quickly on construction.

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