West Palm Beach city leaders to build a charter school on the north end of town

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - City leaders want to turn the empty lot on 27th street and Broadway Avenue in West Palm Beach into a charter school by next year.

Something one parent said the city should've looked into a long time ago.

Mike Mullen said, "If we were standing here and the school was built and it was just a few years ago, it would be a completely different story."

Mike Mullen feels it's a little too late.

West Palm Beach city leaders are planning on building a charter school in the Northwood area.

But Mullen is moving to another part of the district where he feels schools are better.

"You can't cut corners in education. If you have the facts that it's just not going to be as good as another area, you're gonna make that decision," said Mullen.

A decision that's taking him closer to Boynton Beach after 12 years of living in Northwood.

City leaders said the charter shcool will be built on the north end because that's where the need is greatest.

"What do you do?" said Commissioner Kimberly Mitchell. "Your kids are gonna continue to be in a failing situation and we're looking at the test scores that show us only 18 percent are reading at grade level in 3rd grade."

Commissioner Mitchell said not only will putting a charter school on the north end attract more families, but grow the community.

"Our numbers, our demographics at looking at how many homes are in foreclosure, are vacant. And what the median income is, and education level, all if those things are weakest in the north end," said Commissioner Mitchell.

Representatives with Palm Beach County schools said only one school out of the 24 elementary schools in the north end had an F grade. The rest were mostly B's and C's.

District reps also said they are treating the city's application for a charter school like any other applicant and moving forward.

There will be another meeting on the charter school on August 18.

There will be a chance for public comment announced later on.