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No word yet on Platteville charter school grant
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The fate of the proposed School District of Platteville charter school remains in the hands of the state Department of Public Instruction.

District superintendent Connie Valenza told the School Board Monday that the DPI has yet to approve or deny a grant proposal to fund the first two years of the proposed charter school.

The initial timetable for an answer of Aug. 1 was listed on the DPI’s website as “early August” in mid-August.

The delay in the DPI’s answer affects the school district’s ability to start a charter school based on STEM — Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics — education for the 2013–14 school year.

“Financially we would not pursue it without the grant … in the format we originally made the proposal,” said Valenza. “If we don’t get the information soon, I’m not sure we can turn it around in the amount of time it would take.”

The proposed charter school, a partnership with UW–Platteville and Southwest Wisconsin Technical College, would admit freshmen and sophomores in the 2013–14 school year and graduate its first class in the 2015–16 school year. The charter school is proposed to focus on three subject areas — industry and engineering, biomedical science, and agricultural science.

If the DPI approves the grant, the school board would have to seek DPI approval of the charter school in January or February.

“It’s kind of a moot point if we don’t get approval, but if we don’t get approval soon I’m concerned about our ability to move ahead,” said Valenza.