San Jose City Council Approves Land Sale for Charter School
San Jose's city council has approved selling a 3.5 acre parcel near downtown for a new charter elementary school run by Rocketship Education.
But some residents of the central San Jose neighborhood say they need a middle school, not the grade school the charter operator plans.
San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed supports Rocketship's proposal because he believes the charter company will work to close the city's achievement gap. Reed says he'll work to bring a middle school later. "I didn't want to turn down something that would be good, in hopes of getting something that would be better," he said.
The school would be built on one acre of land and serve six hundred students from all over the city. Rocketship has pledged to turn the rest of the site into a playground and park, which would be open to the public after school hours.
Councilmember Ash Kalra is concerned about the heavy traffic and congestion a school could bring to small residential streets. He also says the city shouldn't compromise on providing open space to the community. "That neighborhood needs a park," says Kalra, "They've been promised a park for a very long time."
Rocketship's plan still faces several levels of city approval before it can move forward.