Searcy Charter School Application Denied

Seven Arts Lyceum

The state’s Charter Authorizing Panel on Thursday rejected three more applications for new open-enrollment charter schools, bringing the total to six applications denied this week. One was approved.

Among those denied yesterday, the Seven Arts Lyceum, a statewide virtual school to be physically based in the Searcy School District for up to 700 students in kindergarten through 12th grades.

The Seven Arts Lyceum School was proposed by Likewise Inc., a 501-c-3 nonprofit organization, which was previously established at least in part to provide college programs to prison inmates.

One reason for the denial was an attorney for the Education Department told the charter panel there were concerns about Likewise Inc. and what were seen as its ties to religion.

Charter school rules and laws that prohibit open-enrollment charter schools from religious offerings or program operations.

The two other schools rejected Thursday were Sims-Fayola International Academy for up to 200 boys in grades five through eight within the Pine Bluff School District and Sugarloaf Valley Academy for up to 300 students in grades kindergarten through 12 in Hartford, which was recently consolidated into the Hackett School District.

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