Officials from Education Alternatives Inc., the Minnesota company hoping to run a Baltimore middle school and eight elementary schools starting in September, came to town this week to brief parents and community members on their plan.
The private company contends that it can give each school a new, innovative curriculum, computers and other technology, and two teachers in every classroom -- all for the estimated $5,415 the school system currently spends for each student.
Company brass held briefings at the nine schools scheduled to participate. More than a dozen parents and staffers showed up at each of two meetings Wednesday morning.
"To me, if it's going to work and help our children to read and write and have some self-esteem, I'm all for it," she said.
At Dr. Rayner Browne Elementary School in East Baltimore, Hope Allen, a parent, said the school system shouldn't have to hire a consultant to do what local people could do themselves.
"I think we could do it ourselves, instead of hiring a private firm to come in," she said.