Independent charter schools are free to attend and open to all students, but Madison has never had any. Bennett’s office, opened in April 2016 within the UW System by state statute, has the ability to bypass local school boards and authorize charter schools in Madison and Milwaukee.
Bennett said he liked the idea of adding a Montessori School, organized around self-driven learning and project work, to Madison’s public education landscape. He also wanted to provide more high quality early childhood education, he said, with both options more accessible to low-income parents through the charter process.
Bennett said he hoped the IMA charter school could be rolled into the Madison School District eventually if it demonstrates it can be successful and financially sound.
Related: A majority of the Madison School Board rejected the proposed Madison Preparatory IB Charter School.
The Madison School Board rejected the proposed Montessori (quasi) charter school.