Andre Agassi: 'Every kid deserves the best education'

LAS VEGAS -- This school year saw the opening of two new charter schools in the Las Vegas valley. Somerset Academy in North Las Vegas and Doral Academy in the southwest.

Former tennis pro and Las Vegas native Andre Agassi helped bring in funding to open the campuses. He says while charter schools may not be perfect, they are still critical in a community like Las Vegas.

A lot of people have high hopes for the charter schools even though the latest national report shows Nevada is dead last on the list in terms of the number of students attending the schools and how well they are doing in class.

Despite that news, charter school advocates like Andre Agassi continue to invest millions of dollars to support the effort.

Agassi and his partner Bobby Turner toured Somerset and Doral academies Wednesday as the schools celebrated their grand openings. Agassi and Turner helped fund the schools as part of their nationwide charter school development venture.

"Every kid deserves the best education possible," Agassi said.

Doral Academy off Cactus Avenue and Somerset Academy located near Losee and Craig roads both opened earlier this fall with thousands of kids already on the waiting list for both campuses. Agassi said his goal is to get even more campuses open.

"We are not going to solve everything but it's a piece of the equation, it's competition and it's giving kids what they need," he said.

According to a study by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, Nevada was ranked last compared to other states when it came to students attending charter schools. The study says Nevada only has five percent of students in charter schools and many of them are under performing in math and science compared to kids in regular public institutions.

Parent Michele Aurand, whose daughter attends third grade at Doral, says she would rather have her daughter in a charter school than at an overcrowded campus.

"It's amazing to see my child get the education she deserves," Aurand said.

"Charter schools as a whole don't outperform but the top 10 to 15 percent of operators exceed district peers," Agassi said.

It's for that reason that Agassi continues to pour more money into charter schools in his home state. He wants to make a difference in education.

Because the demand for charter schools is high, students are selected for the charter schools by a lottery system. There is no tuition.

 


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