Beloit families needed better options when it came to educating their children. A charter school, The Lincoln Academy, only two years old, is providing them — even as it works in the underfunded part of public education.
The school “is a beautiful combination of having the desire and the push to have really great, strong, and high expectations for scholars while also having open enrollment,” says primary principal Tavi Riddle, herself a Beloit native. As an independent public school, it accepts children of all abilities and backgrounds.
From the youngest learners through high schoolers, it centers on providing children with “a choice-filled life” — preparing children for adulthood in a broad range of occupations, whether they attend a four-year college, acquire a technical trade, enter the military or pursue work immediately. And the school is suffused with a sense of joy in its mission. “I want to create the best Beloit possible,” said social studies teacher Shane Davie, who calls the city home.
The school is in an all-new building, thanks to a generous donor’s gift, but like all public charter schools, it gets only about $9,300 per child in base funding — far less than the average $15,200 that traditional public district schools spend. It makes up the difference as best it can by fundraising, but as Riddle says, “We need proper funding.” Specifically, to be sustainable, “we’re going to need to have that same relatively stable foundation” that traditional district schools have.
For more from parents and students across the state embracing the freedom to choose the best education, see our entire collection of Choice Stories.