A former member of the Lee County Board of Education announced plans for a future charter school in Sanford on Monday.

Shawn Williams, who served the district from 2008 to 2012, has scheduled a press conference for 7 p.m. Tuesday to announce MINA’s Place, a proposed nonprofit 501(c)3 charter school for students in Lee County. The forum will be held at 610 East Main Street in Sanford.

“The news conference is an effort to share the dreams and the pursuit to open a charter school,” Williams said Monday. “MINA’s Place would like to make the community aware of its intentions … and the benefits it will bring to Lee County. MINA’s Place will be the perfect place to discuss a different plan of educating students in Lee County through flexible and various classes that are not being offered in the public school system.

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It’s the second time in the past month a proposed charter school has been announced in Sanford. In late August, Sanford native Justin Smith announced the tuition-free public charter school, Ascend Leadership Academy (Sanford Herald, subscription required), scheduled to open in August of next year.  According to The Herald, Smith currently serves on the board of directors at a charter school in Durham and will be principal and manager of that school when it opens.

Ascend Leadership Academy will hold a public interest meeting at noon on Sept. 30 at the Lee County Library.

Details on MINA’s Place will be provided at Tuesday’s press conference. Williams will serve as president of the school, and Chris DeLambert, the director of business development at Temple Theatre, will serve as vice president.

What is a charter school?

Charter schools are public schools of choice that are authorized by the State Board of Education and operated by independent non-profit boards of directors. State and local tax dollars are the primary funding sources for charter schools, which have open enrollment and cannot discriminate in admissions, associate with any religion or religious group, or charge-tuition.

Charter schools operate with freedom from many of the regulations that govern district schools, but charter schools are held accountable through the state assessment and accountability system.

North Carolina currently has no numeric or geographic limits on charter schools. Lee County is currently home to no charter schools.