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Charter school director responds to SISD concern about losing students, money

New charter school being built in east El Paso

The Socorro Independent School District could lose millions of dollars due to new charter schools being built.

SISD receives $6,015 a year per student. The new Rio Vista Idea Charter School is expected to have 1,068 students. If all those kids come from SISD schools, the district could lose $6,424,020.

Ernesto Cantu is the executive director of IDEA El Paso. He says parents shouldn’t worry about government funding when deciding where to send their kids.

“The fact is that the money belongs to the kids. It doesn’t belong to the school districts, it doesn’t belong to IDEA Public Schools and wherever the kids are going, that's where the funding follows," said Cantu.

Twelve minutes away from the new Idea charter school is Harmony Science Academy. Parents like Anthony Atilano tell CBS4 they're happy with the school.

"I think they are both just as good, but the security here and the educators here show that they care," said Atilano.

Michael Caldwell had three kids who attended public schools. His fourth child attends Harmony Science Academy.

"If you want your kid to be smart and be educated, and that should be a parent's goal, then put them in charter schools or leave them in public school and let them easily pass, get their diploma and hopefully make it to college," said Caldwell.

Charter school representatives say they understand the frustration from local school districts. But in the end, parents should have choices and they just want to be one of them.

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