New Bedford Academy is a tuition-free public school "that has been setting the standard for education since its founding in 1999," according to the school's website.

The Academy is in Lambertville, Michigan.

Lambertville is an unincorporated community and census-designated place in Monroe County, Michigan. The CDP is within Bedford Township. My guess is that is where the school got its name from.

I have tried unsuccessfully to communicate with school officials, who have not responded to my emails seeking information about the origin of the academy's moniker. Even the school's Facebook page is closed to outsiders.

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According to The Monroe News, the New Bedford Academy was founded in 1998 by Michael LaHote.

"Legally blind, LaHote never could read the chalkboard from his desk," it reported.

Overcrowded classrooms made it difficult for him to get the help he needed to learn properly.

Years later, after opening a Corvette restoration shop, LaHote decided to open a charter school as an alternative to help students struggling in the traditional education setting in Lambertville "because the kids who were falling behind were not stupid; It just wasn't their best way of learning."

The academy website boasts a "premier education that's completely free." The K-8 school, which works with the support of Ferris State University, promises "an exceptional education to all students, regardless of background or financial situation." gives New Bedford Academy a 4.6-star rating based on parent/guardian reviews. gives the school an overall grade of B.

"New Bedford Academy is an above average, public charter school," according to Niche.

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