FORT WORTH -- NFL Hall of Famer Deion Sanders and other businessmen hope to open a charter school on Fort Worth's east side after outlining their plans to officials in Austin.
Sanders testified before the State Board of Education's charter school committee Tuesday, saying his group wants to create a school where students can excel in athletics and education.
"We can marry the two and have Prime Youth Prep Academy, where we're exemplary in academics and we have a wonderful athletic program," said the former Dallas Cowboys cornerback. "Why can't we do such a thing?"
The proposed school's organizing group, Uplift Fort Worth CDC, has property near Oakland Boulevard and Lancaster Avenue at what is currently Charity Church, but organizers said they are open to other locations. The group also has property in the Dallas area for a second location.
If approved, the school would open in 2012 with about 650 students in kindergarten through sixth grade with plans to expand to the 12th grade.
Officials from the school talked about offering dual credit college courses and focusing on math and science classes as well as community involvement.
Organizers emphasized that they've been working on oversight to make sure they follow proper governance and financial procedures.
Businessman D.L. Wallace, Uplift's executive director, said he felt that the interview went well and likes the group's chances of getting a charter. The state has 13 slots for new open enrollment charter schools, and 15 groups interviewed for them this week. Wallace is also on the development board for the University of North Texas College of Education.
The State Board of Education will vote Sept. 16 on the new charters.
Eva-Marie Ayala, 817-390-7700