Charter panel endorses schools for Fayetteville, Fort Smith, Russellville

Phil Baldwin (left) and Toyce Newton, members Arkansas Charter Authorizing Panel during an August panel meeting at the Arch Ford Education Building in Little Rock.(Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Staci Vandagriff)
Phil Baldwin (left) and Toyce Newton, members Arkansas Charter Authorizing Panel during an August panel meeting at the Arch Ford Education Building in Little Rock.(Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Staci Vandagriff)

The Arkansas Charter Authorizing Panel on Tuesday endorsed plans for an arts-infused open-enrollment charter high school to be located on the Arkansas River front in downtown Fort Smith, starting in the 2024-25 school year.

The charter panel of state agency employees and interested citizens also voted to expand the network of Premier High Schools in the state from five campuses and an online school to eight, with the two new charter campuses being placed in Fayetteville and Russellville.

The Arkansas Board of Education will have an opportunity as soon as next month to review the plans for new campuses —all of which would be operated by not-for profit organizations other than traditional school systems — before making the plans final.

This story is developing, check back for more details.

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