Deion Sanders Wants Parents to Know He's Starting a Charter School for Love, Not Money
Deion Sanders is not messing around with haters. "Someone is ready to hate, somebody is ready to naysay," he said at last night's Oak Cliff town hall meeting to rally support for his charter school, Prime Prep Academy, slated to open campuses in Dallas and Fort Worth in August.
Deion Sanders tells the packed town hall about his latest venture, Prime Prep Academy.
The crowd looked around, a little confused at the oddly foreboding introduction. "But I don't care. I never did care," he continued, insisting he's not making a dime on this venture.
Now, he could have been referencing the pending litigation against his business partner, the questions about corporate financing, the scrutiny of the charter application, all of which we neatly packaged in this post. It could have been any number of things, really, but he didn't bother to expound.
"Everybody in here is dealing with something, but we're in here for one common goal," he said. "And that's our babies."
Once that was out of the way, the town hall progressed much as it had at the Fort Worth campus Tuesday night. Sanders' business partner, D.L. Wallace, promised parents that the school would provide an environment of support and discipline, rigorous academics and engaging extracurriculars. Much of the night's presentation emphasized technology: Each student will receive a free laptop; textbooks will be e-books; the curriculum will center on computer-based learning. And so on.
Wallace stressed that Prime Prep will provide both the "greatest gifted and talented program" and will be committed to children with special needs. After-school tutoring will be offered to all students.
"How much is that tutoring, D.L.?" Sanders asked.
"It's free!" D.L. answered the question that was asked and answered over and over again throughout the night. Prime Prep is funded by the state and private donors, Wallace said.
He set the bar high. "You'll know that your child has the best of everything."
Prime Prep will accept student and faculty applications starting March 1; all will enter a lottery, and entrance decisions will be made May 7. There are 750 student slots at each of the two campuses.
Sanders closed out the night much as he had opened it. "I'm here because I desire to be here," he said. "I'll be here until the cows come home."
After the town hall, most parents were pleased with what they heard. Many had children who had participated in TRUTH, Sanders's summer athletics and academic program.
"It gives them a chance to succeed," said Geneva Washington-Portis, a mother of four boys. "DISD is not preparing the students for life. They're preparing them for statewide tests."
"The laptops are getting them prepared for college," said Kimoni Jackson, a father of twin 10-year-old boys. "They don't offer this stuff around here ... it's not just about sports."
Jackson said he has full faith in Prime Prep. "If I felt something negative, my boys wouldn't be going here."