An idea born around a kitchen table a year-and-a-half ago to create charter schools in midtown Kansas City for parents who want to live in the city got a huge boost Thursday.
The Midtown Community Schools Initiative says it will open two charter elementary schools in the 2016 school year.
To get off the ground, the group will draw on $2.6 million in grants from the Kauffman Foundation, the Hall Family Foundation and the Walton Family Foundation.
Midtown co-founder Kristin Littrell says these schools will keep families in the city.
“This is something families need to stay living in the city, which is something most families who live here say is something they very much want to do, but they have to have some quality school options to be able to do that," she says.
Midtown has chosen Citizens of the World Charter Schools to run the programs.
Citizens of the World has schools in Los Angeles and New York. It ran into some resistance from public schools in those cities.
Littrell says so far all of the discussions with the Kansas City Public Schools have been productive. She says both her group and the district can benefit.
“More quality school options in the city benefits everyone. And I think it benefits all schools to have other great schools around," she says.
A spokesperson for the Kansas City Public Schools says the district welcomes the new charters in midtown and would welcome the opportunity to work together.
The Kauffman Foundation also announced $1.5 million in grants to support ten local scholarship programs targeting low-income, minority and first generation college students.