“Does it have to be a charter school?”

   That was the major question batted around Monday evening by Ripon Area School Board members.

   The discussion came as the board considered, and ultimately approved, a proposal to apply for a grant to fund a play-based charter school at Barlow Park Elementary School.

   However, before board members could consider the issue Monday night during its School Board meeting, they were first addressed by School Board candidate Dan Zimmerman.

   Zimmerman, during the visitors forum at the start of the meeting, advised School Board members not to approve the application for the grant but to hold off on that for another year. Instead, he suggested they should take a year to allow Barlow Park staff to investigate the charter school proposal further and answer questions from the community that may arise.

   “If we don’t have the information before we make the decision and the information is not put out to the constituents, then nobody really has a chance to even think about it and develop any questions that would be fairly significant,” Zimmerman said. “It’s a very deliberate approach is what I’m talking about, as opposed to pushing forward right now.”

   He noted at the special School Board meeting a few weeks ago, the members were thinking of possibly approving the grant application and then having the teachers research more details between now and July, when they would have to decide to accept the grant funds.

Read the full story in the Feb. 21, 2019 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.