Updated 

Panel approves another Little Rock charter school


LITTLE ROCK — The state Department of Education’s Charter Authorizing Panel on Thursday approved a proposed open-enrollment charter school in Little Rock.

In a 6-0 vote, the panel approved an application for a charter for Quest Middle School of West Little Rock. The school will be open to students in grades 6-12 and have an enrollment cap of 490 students.

The panel took the action a day after approving an application for another Little Rock charter school, Exalt Academy of Southwest Little Rock.

The panel also voted unanimously Thursday to deny an application for the proposed Redfield Tri-County Charter School in Redfield. Members said they had concerns about curriculum and financial issues.

Decisions of the panel can be appealed the state Board of Education.

The panel tabled applications for proposed open-enrollment charter schools in Sunset and Osceola. Panel members said they wanted to give the applicants time to work with Education Department staff members to address technical issues with the applications.

The tabled applications are for the proposed Young Adult Magic Johnson Bridgescape Academy of Crittenden County and the Young Adult Magic Johnson Bridgescape Academy of Mississippi County.

Thursday’s hearings concluded a two-day meeting of the panel, its first since an organizational meeting in August. Previously, charter school applications went to the state Board of Education for consideration, but Act 509 of this year called for the creation of a six-member panel within the Education Department to handle those duties.

The panel is comprised of state Education Commissioner Tom Kimbrell, its chairman, and six Education Department officials appointed by Kimbrell.

On Wednesday, in addition to approving a charter for Exalt Academy, the panel denied applications for proposed schools in North Little Rock and Springdale and approved expansion of an existing charter school in Blytheville operated by KIPP Delta Public Schools.

approved a proposed open-enrollment charter school in Little Rock and denied proposed schools in North Little Rock and Springdale. - See more at: http://arkansasnews.com/news/arkansas/update-panel-approves-one-charter-...