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Dallas School District Leaders Oppose KIPP Charter School Opening On Campus Of Paul Quinn College

Bill Zeeble
Dallas school trustee Maxie Johnson leads a small group of protesters upset that a KIPP charter school is planned for Paul Quinn College, where they're standing. Dallas Superintendent Michael Hinojosa is masked, holding a paper, to Johnson's right.

The national charter school group, KIPP Academy, plans to soon open a public school on the campus of Paul Quinn College in southern Dallas. But a group of Dallas education officials in front of the campus Tuesday said the area has too many charters already.

Dallas school board member Maxie Johnson represents the southern district of Dallas and bluntly said charter schools like KIPP take kids and their funding from the Dallas school district.

“KIPP is trying to bully their way into this area and didn’t want to have a community meeting," Johnson said. "When I met with the district-5 community, they do not want a charter school in this area.”

KIPP operates 242 charter schools nationwide including seven in Dallas-Fort Worth. KIPP’s DFW superintendent, Anthony Smith, rejected the bullying charge. 

“We’re the ones that told them that this was coming and we were looking to do this,” Smith said. “So we are open to community engagement of all sorts, but remember we also have a community that we serve and that our kids and families have requested this of us as well.”

Paul Quinn College President Michael Sorrell said KIPP is not new to the area - it’s been in southern Dallas at least 15 years. He said, in fact, KIPP first opened a school on Paul Quinn’s campus, and later moved it, before he arrived as president more than a decade ago. 

Got a tip? Email Reporter Bill Zeeble at You can follow him on Twitter @bzeeble.

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Bill Zeeble has been a full-time reporter at KERA since 1992, covering everything from medicine to the Mavericks and education to environmental issues.