YOUNGSTOWN New charter school opens

The city's fifth one opened today on the South Side.
YOUNGSTOWN -- Standing behind a lectern at the opening of the new Legacy Academy for Leaders and the Arts, Verna Wylie said she has a very simple educational philosophy.
"The children come first," said the first principal of the new charter school on the city's South Side.
She then left the lectern and waded into the crowd of about 350 children and parents in the school gym.
"I see all kinds of leaders here today," she said, looking at the children. "Colin Powell. Martin Luther King Jr. ...and I'm excited about that."
Opened this morning: Legacy Academy, with about 225 pupils in kindergarten through the 10th grade, opened this morning at Mount Calvary Pentecostal Church on Oak Hill Avenue.
The school, led by the church's pastor, Bishop Norman V. Wagner, will house pupils in classrooms attached to the church building and in six adjacent modular classroom units.
"Our specialization will be unlocking the dreams that preside deep inside every child," the Rev. Mr. Wagner said after the opening ceremony, which featured a talk by Judge Robert Douglas of Youngstown Municipal Court.
Legacy is the fifth charter school in the city, but the first to get approval from the Lucas County Educational Service Center in Toledo.
Charter schools: Charter schools, approved by the General Assembly in 1997, are privately operated schools that get state funding and do not charge tuition. The Ohio Department of Education has approved most of the state's more than 60 charter schools to date, including four in Youngstown.
But the law, pushed through the legislature with the help of a Toledo-area lawmaker, also gives the Lucas County ESC and the University of Toledo authority to approve.
The Rev. Wagner, who led the now-closed Calvary Christian Academy private school on the South Side, said state education officials said it was too late to start a new school for this academic year. He said state officials referred him to Lucas County, which he said approved the school.
While Lucas County ESC has approved several charter schools in Lucas County, Legacy is the first to be opened outside Lucas County, said Peg Hull, charter school coordinator for Lucas County ESC.
She said the school will have to make up time lost by starting classes eight weeks later than most other schools.
The Rev. Wagner said the school will have longer days -- 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. -- than other schools, and will be in session until June 20 to make up the time.