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New Roots Charter School has fans and foes

New Roots Charter School has fans and foes

Students, teachers and community members turned out for a public hearing on Ithaca’s New Roots Charter School Wednesday.

New Roots first opened its doors in 2009 and is required by state law to apply for a renewal charter every five years. The school has around 200 students enrolled in grades 9 through 12.

Many parents, students and teachers involved with the school spoke with passion about its success, but the hearing also included community members opposed to a charter renewal.

Critics of New Roots cited low attendance rates, financial problems and a high failure rate on Regents exams.

School principal Tina Nilsen-Hodges defended the school’s reputation.

“We feel we’re in a good place as our authorizer makes a decision,” she said.

The SUNY Board of Trustees will make its decision in January or February of next year.

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