Parents Launch Petition Drive To Make Harding A Charter School

By Scott Sarvay
By John W. Davis

March 29, 2011 Updated Mar 29, 2011 at 5:44 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) - Parents and community members are fighting to keep Harding open, even though East Allen Community School Board has already voted to close the school, and re-open it in 2012 as a College & Career Academy.

The Fort Wayne Urban League, the Harding High School PTSA and Parents for Quality Education held a news conference Tuesday to kick off a petition drive.

"The parents of Paul Harding want school at Paul Harding," said Urban League CEO Jonathan Ray.

Harding parents and community members will go door-to-door to get signatures and support for their idea to have Harding become a charter school.

The goal is to get at least 300 signatures.

This is the parents' counter-plan to the East Allen County School district's current plan to close Harding and re-open it as a magnet school.

Urban League CEO Jonathan Ray believes students should be able to grow up and attend school in the same community.

"They want an educational environment that isn't stifling. One that is motivational and puts their children in a position where they can be successful when they exit that school," said Ray.

The petition drive will take place on Saturday, April 2.

If the two groups get the 300 signatures needed, the names will be presented to the East Allen Community School Board for approval.

If the EACS Board accepts the petition, Harding parents and community members will begin the process of creating a charter school.

If the petition is not approved, organizers said they will petition the state of Indiana.

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