Church plans to reopen Mueller Elementary as a charter school

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WICHITA, Kansas – Pastor Wade Moore of the Christian Faith Centre is working on creating a private school tailored for minority students.

“Welcome to Urban Preparatory Academy. We’re going to focus on economics, entrepreneurship, business.”

In the heart of an urban neighborhood, in a building that once thrived, it has been a year since the Wichita Board of Education shut down Mueller Elementary along with three other schools.

His church decided to go after it raising more than $50,000 to try to buy it at auction.

They initially lost the bid by only a thousand dollars, but Moore says fate intervened.

The highest bidder couldn’t own the property, thanks to the original 1953 land deal.

“It was donated to the school district for $1, and they put covenants on this property that it could only be used for school purposes.”

Winning the bid for the school, Moore says was a blessing at getting the community to back him up a cinch. Now, he’s ready for his next challenge, and that’s getting lawmakers on board.

Moore plans to turn the academy into the first charter or “School Choice” facility in Kansas.

” If we were to get charters, we could charter with the school district or school choice would come into affect,” said Moore. “Then it would alleviate financial responsibilities on parents in this community. This is going to create 75 to 85 new jobs.”

According to Moore, Sedgwick County Schools receive $12800 per a student. With “School Choice”, that money would follow the student to the charter school or school of choice.

Stephanie Baker, a mother of two,  says she is thrilled about having an option because lately she has been frustrated with  public schools.

“They’re not being taught what they need to be taught in order to succeed,” said Baker.

Now that Urban Preparatory Academy plans to open, she believes it will give her and children what they need.

“I’ve always wanted to chose based on curriculum, based on what the children are learning, based on the skills that are being taught. I would love to have a voice.”

This year, the school plans to open as a day care/pre-school facility, but next year, hopes to open as a kindergarten through fifth grade school.

The academy will host a discussion about ” School Choice as well as unveil its future plans during a  breakfast meeting at the old Mueller Elementary building on Thursday August 1st, from 7 to 9 AM.

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