EVANSTON—A group known as Evanston Advantage presented its plan to the District 65 school board Monday to open a school next year serving 540 kindergarten through 5th-grade students. Organizers say Evanston Advantage would add a new grade each year until it is teaching kindergarten through the 12th grades, with 90 students in each grade, using a teaching program designed by Advantage Schools Inc. The Boston-based educational management firm provided the model for the Octavio Paz Charter School, which opened this fall in Chicago. The proposal is the second presented to the board this year. The Dual-Language Charter School Initiative organization announced in February that it wants to open a charter school in 1999 called Sin Fronteras (“Without Borders.”) Its organizers say they would offer a Spanish-English program for up to 280 students in kindergarten through 6th grade. The goal, they say, is to have bilingual pupils from both English-speaking and Spanish-speaking families. Charter schools are independently run public schools free from most local and state regulations. Because they divert tax dollars from existing districts, however, many school officials view them as competition and oppose them.

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