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Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School has 69 Kindergartners on wait still, still trying to expand

October 19, 2018

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Chinese Immersion school seeks to expand into Chicopee, other towns

From: The Reminder

BOSTON – The Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School has filed an application with the The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESI) to expand into a number of communities, including Chicopee.

DESI made the announcement recently. The Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School is one of five existing charter schools that submitted requests to expand enrollment.

DESI will decide by mid-September which applicant groups it will invite to submit full proposals for new schools. The final decision on the applications will b e made between December 2018 and February 2019.

Please read more here.

From The Daily Hampshire Gazette

Twice denied by state, Chinese charter takes another swing at expansion

HADLEY — The Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School has yet again requested that the state’s education board grant the school permission to expand.

The charter school submitted an expansion request in 2016 that was recommended favorably by then-Commissioner Mitchell Chester, but the board denied the request in a 7-2 vote.

Alison Bagg, director of the Office of Charter Schools and School Redesign, explained in a March 2017 letter that the school should delay submitting another expansion request until it addressed several of the education board’s concerns. But the school filed a similar request, and was again denied this spring.

“You’ve got to hear this board,” Chairman Paul Sagan said after the board chose not to take action on the school’s expansion request this March. “We like your school. We like the educational opportunities you provide. But we’re not persuaded that doubling capacity works for the system.”

In its latest request, the charter school is asking the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education to allow an increase in maximum enrollment from 584 students to 952. The school’s previous requests had asked for a maximum enrollment of 1,036.

“The PVCICS Board of Trustees wishes to make this change to satisfy persistent unmet demand for Kindergarten seats, expand opportunity and choice for urban, suburban and rural students to attend desegregated/integrated public schools, and increase the integration of staffing in public education,” the expansion request reads.

A letter on Aug. 1 from Executive Director Richard Alcorn to the education board states that the school has received 69 applications for the 44 additional kindergarten seats requested in the latest application, which would expand kindergarten from two to four.

Please read more here.

But it’s all quite political, as you’ll see below:

From: The Greenfield Recorder.
Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Comerford knocks charter school expansion plan

Jo Comerford, candidate for State Senate in the Hampshire, Franklin, Worcester district, has come out against the most recent request by the Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School to expand enrollment:

“I am extremely dismayed that the Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School is once again seeking permission to expand its enrollment. This recent expansion request could not come at a worse time.” she said in a statement “Just last week, negotiations to fix the flawed education funding formula that plagues municipalities across the state — and especially in our district — fell through, leaving our public schools dramatically underfunded and in continued jeopardy.

“We simply cannot afford an increased charter school budget drain.

Please read more here.

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