Corbett school district growth squeezes charter

CORBETT, Ore. (KOIN) — Bill Moorman’s son has thrived at the Corbett Charter School, the privately-run but publicly-funded school that shares the entire Corbett School District campus.

“This imaginative education and philosophy for children has awakened something in my child that is stellar, excited about learning,” he said.

Paul Moorman is upset the Corbett Charter School his son attends is being forced to move into a smaller space by the school district, April 23, 2014 (KOIN 6 News)
Paul Moorman is upset the Corbett Charter School his son attends is being forced to move into a smaller space by the school district, April 23, 2014 (KOIN 6 News)

About 460 students in the K-12 program attend the charter school, but that’s about to change for next year.

The boards of the Corbett Charter School and the Corbett School District reached an agreement that limits the space leased to the school. Next year, the school will be housed in an old library in the elementary school with enrollment capped at 75 students.

“Right now, we’re in the middle of putting together a program for 75 students still on the Corbett campus,” the school’s director told KOIN 6 News by phone.

Those 75 students could range from grades 3-8, but hundreds of other students will have to go elsewhere.

Moorman said his son can either attend the Corbett School District or his neighborhood school in Gresham.

“It seems to me where it leaves it is, my child is left either seen as a dollar sign with a backpack,” Moorman said, “or at least a pawn in a game whose agenda has nothing to do with increasing my kid’s educational opportunity.”

The district superintendent said he can’t discuss the new agreement until the paperwork is officially signed.

But in their March 2014 newsletter, the stated reason for the change is that the number of students has increased in the district. Using the space for resident students is more cost effective than renting it to the charter school, which was recently ranked as the third “most challenging high school” by the Washington Post.

Moorman is not happy with what that means for his son.

“As of what we know now,” he said, “his school and educational opportunity has been decimated.”

Bob Denton, the director of the Corbett Charter School, said the school has the option to find a new location within Corbett, but the search so far has been unsuccessful.

Furthermore, the new agreement will alter the level of funding per pupil that the charter school receives, potentially making it difficult to afford a new building, according to Denton.

blog comments powered by Disqus