GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Officials at Lake Superior State University are expected to authorize a new charter public school in Grand Rapids focusing on the fine and performing arts, according to MLive. The school will be run by a local group, led by noted gospel singer Marvin Sapp.

Bruce Harger, director of charter schools for LSSU, recently met with four of the five school board members for the Grand Rapids Ellington Academy of Arts and Technology. Harger told MLive the meeting was to familiarize board members with the role they will play at the school.

“Their role being governance, not management, not operations,” Harger said. “It was also to help them understand they are public officials once they are sworn in. They have a duty, a responsibility to the public because that is who is footing the bill.”

Samantha Howell, president of the board and global business analyst for Amway Corporation, told MLive that the GREAAT school board was comprised of individuals who see a need for increased emphasis on the arts in public education.

“Most of us are products of the public school system and are passionate about the arts,” she said. “We know the academic and social benefits of participating in the arts for young people.”

SOURCE: MLive, “Gospel singer Marvin Sapp's new performing arts charter school is close to being authorized,” April 25, 2012

FURTHER READING: Michigan Capitol Confidential, “School Choice Advocates Cheer Lift of Charter Public School Cap,” Dec. 15, 2011