Thanks to the News Journal for getting this story out! I first wrote about the issues the Midtown Brandywine Neighborhood Association were having with Freire Charter School in Wilmington last December. The school changed locations, which caused the neighbors to become alarmed. Their biggest gripe was the number of parking spots in their neighborhood, which are already in low demand. The matter escalated in March when then Head of School scuffled with some protesters during an Open House the school was having. Porter was eventually charged for the assault, but no trial date has been set at this point in time to my knowledge.
Their neighbors filed an injunction to stop the school from opening in August, and even though the heart of the issue won’t happen for another two years when the school expands and the parking spots leased from the building owner would overflow in capacity based on the new employees, the judge doesn’t want to kick the can down the road over an already established school. The hearing date will be on July 31st.
According to Jenna Pizzi with the Delaware News Journal, the Midtown Brandywine Neighborhood Association in Wilmington is ready to do battle with Freire Charter School. Concerned with the amount of traffic coming into their neighborhood, many residents have formally hired an attorney and sent a letter to the Wilmington Department of Licenses and Inspection based on a lack of parking spaces for the school, scheduled to open in the upcoming school year. The group has also stated if their official letter does not receive a response in their favor, they will vote whether to file for an injunction against the charter school, on formal review with the Delaware Department of Education before it even opened.
At the Charter School Accountability Committee meeting last week, the school announced it has met its enrollment targets as of May 2015. State law requires any charter school to have 80% of its enrollment by April 1st before the new school year starts. Freire missed that number, but has since gone over it. The State Board of Education and Secretary of Education Mark Murphy will make a decision about the school’s formal review on June 18th. Some members of the Neighborhood Association have already filed charges against the school stemming from an incident in March, and association member Lyn Doto publicly acknowledged this a few days ago.