KCC calls meeting on charter

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. - Kellogg Community College will invite area school districts to a March meeting to discuss a proposed charter public school that would offer technical training to high school students, according to the Battle Creek Enquirer.

In a meeting that included several spats over both the charter school concept and the fact that two members attended remotely by teleconference and speaker phone, the board agreed to allow President Ed Haring to set up the meeting, which will be open to the public, the Enquirer reported.

The board had discussed in January whether the college should partner with the proposed charter school, which would operate as a middle college, in offering technical training, according to the Enquirer. Many board members were concerned that the school would draw away state per-pupil funding from existing conventional public schools, the Enquirer reported.

Background noise on the speaker phone marred the board discussion, the Enquirer reported, and while Haring said that the school attorney had confirmed that teleconference participation was "technically legal," trustees directed him to consult with the Michigan Community College Association on how other boards handle the issue of trustees who cannot always attend in person.

Trustee Eugene Hamaker called the teleconferencing a "fiasco," the Enquirer reported.

Battle Creek Enquirer, "KCC board discussion gets heated," Feb. 18, 2009

Michigan Education Report, "Program links education, industry to answer workforce needs," Aug. 15, 2007