National Heritage continues expansion

ST. LANDRY PARISH, La. - A charter public school company headquartered in Michigan is working to open schools in Louisiana and Colorado, according to media reports in those states.

National Heritage Academies, based in Grand Rapids, is partnering with Family Church of Lafayette, La., to open Acadiana Charter School, according to the (Louisiana) Daily World. The report said that the school would be the first school of choice in that region, funded through the state under its relatively new charter school law.

Plans call for opening a K-5 operation by the fall of 2010, if the application is approved by the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, church representative Jay Miller told the Daily World.

"We feel very comfortable we can offer a topnotch school of choice," Miller told the Daily World.

In Colorado, NHA has filed a draft application to open a charter school in the Westminster area, according to the State Bill Colorado news service. NHA spokesman Tara Powers told State Bill that the company sees a need in that area due to neighborhood growth.

Powers said NHA is conducting student and parent focus groups to determine interest levels before filing a formal application with the local school district. That district would then conduct public hearings and its school board would vote on whether to approve the school, according to State Bill.

(Louisiana) Daily World, "Charter school seeks students," July 23, 2009

State Bill Colorado, "Charter School To Apply To District 12," July 22, 2009

Michigan Education Report, "Should Michigan lift the cap on charter public schools? Yes," Nov. 21, 2006