In 2017, Anderson and a partner approached the UW System’s Office of Educational Opportunity about starting an independent charter. The school’s design team was formed the next year, and Milestone received approval from the System in 2019 to open as Madison’s third independent charter.
Independent charters are tuition-free, public schools authorized by government entities other than school districts and not under the supervision of local school boards. The other two in Madison are One City Schools and Isthmus Montessori Academy.
For 2020-21, Milestone is seeking a minimum enrollment of 30 students across grades seven through 12 and has a cap of 64 students in total, said Anderson, who will serve as an adviser. So far, fewer than 20 students are going through the enrollment process.
The first day of school is Aug. 27, but enrollment can happen throughout the school year, he said.
Despite its remote start, Milestone recently signed a five-year lease to take over the former Madison Media Institute building, 2758 Dairy Drive, on the city’s Southeast Side.
Milestone Democratic School operates on less than half the per student taxpayer funds (redistributed state and federal tax funds) as the Madison School District, which deeply harvests local property taxes.
2011: A majority of the Madison School Board aborted the proposed (independent) Madison Preparatory IB charter school.