Proponents of a proposed K-12 charter school again are attempting to get its application approved, despite having been turned down by both the Alameda County and Island boards of education earlier this year.

Both boards based their unanimous no-votes then on the application being short on details, plus saying the school was counting on the district to supplement its curriculum. The criticism also pointed to the petition not offering enough details on how the school would achieve racial diversity.

About 250 students have applied for the proposed charter, which would be a sister school to Alameda Community Learning Center (ACLC), a sixth- to 12th-grade charter school located at Encinal High School.

"We're optimistic," said Lowry Fenton, an ACLC board member.

He said the Nea Center team has been taking input from the county and the school district for some time. The new application addresses the questions they raised and is a "great improvement" over the initial effort, he said.

ACLC has been unable to serve all the families interested in its educational model because there hasn't been enough space on the center campus, he said.

In a press release, ACLC facilitator Maafi Gueye said, "The Nea Community Learning Center can bring school choice and this successful educational model to more Alameda students and families."

Charter schools are publicly funded and subject to state testing and accountability requirements. But they are exempt from many laws about specific educational programs and have more flexibility than non-charter public schools.

Alameda Unified School District Trustee Mike McMahon said the school district is planning a charter school workshop to educate the community about charter schools in general and to discuss the benefits and costs of adding charter schools to the district. It is tentatively scheduled for Nov. 13.

McMahon also has a Web site about school district issues and a full background of the proposed charter school's process. To read it, go to mikemcmahon.info.

Staff members who are called teachers at traditional schools are called facilitators at ACLC because the philosophy is to facilitate student learning, with students helping one another.