Joel Osteen’s popular Lakewood Church is planning to partner with Houston ISD to open a charter school for autistic children.
The school, expected to serve students in pre-kindergarten through fifth grade, is slated to open for the 2011-2012 academic year, according to Nancy Manley, an HISD executive principal. The Houston school board must approve the deal.
“They’re in the planning stages now, and they will be in the planning stages through next year,” Manley told the Senate Education Committee this week in Austin during a hearing on charter schools.
The school would not be the first HISD charter campus affiliated with a popular pastor. The Rev. Bill Lawson, the founder of Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church, is behind HISD’s all-boys charter school called WALIPP (the William A. Lawson Institute for Peace and Prosperity).