The Arkansas Charter Authorizing Panel has endorsed plans for two open-enrollment charter schools in Northwest Arkansas, bringing to four the number of new charter campuses scheduled to date for opening in 2024-25.
The applications for Pinecrest Preparatory Academy in Fayetteville and the Civica Career and Collegiate Academy in Bentonville are now subject to final review by the Arkansas Board of Education later this year.
The Pinecrest academy is being planned for kindergarten through 12th grades, starting with 725 pupils in kindergarten through third grades and grades six and nine, and growing to as many as 2,000 students by 2028-2029. The Arkansas school would be part of a network of 26 charters schools serving 18,000 students in Florida, Nevada and Idaho.
The sponsoring organization is Pinecrest Academy Arkansas, and Carlos Alvarez is the primary contact for the school.
The Civica Career and Collegiate Academy would start with a maximum enrollment of 550 students and grow to 2,550 in kindergarten through 12th grades.
School planners would offer a college preparatory program with an emphasis on preparedness for careers. Potential career focuses include health science, business and marketing, economics and international studies, computer sciences and early childhood educators.
The proposed Arkansas charter campus would have sister campuses in Hialeah, Fla., Milliken, Colo., and Las Vegas.
The sponsoring entity is Civica Educational Foundation Inc., and Alvarez is again the contact.
Earlier this year, the state charter panel and the state Board of Education approved the Academy of Math and Science -- Arkansas, an open-enrollment charter school that would serve up to 600 in kindergarten through eighth grade in southwest Little Rock and the Bentonville School for Advanced Studies, a liberal arts charter school that would serve grades five through 12.
The state currently has 22 operating charter schools or charter school systems.
The new schools come at a time when the LEARNS Act, or Act 237 of 2023, calls for removing any cap on the number of open-enrollment charter schools in the state.