Solutions that don’t break the bank, reinvent the wheel or marginalize our teachers are within our grasp. We could have rigorous classes, safe and disciplined schools and treat teachers like valued colleagues rather than easily replaceable cogs, and we could do so tomorrow if we wanted. Disclaimer, this is an opinion and commentary site and should not be confused as a news site, and you should know that quite often people may disagree with the opinions posted herein.
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Thursday, December 11, 2014
Palm Beach says no to Charter Schools USA, why won't Jacksonville?
From the Palm Beach Post: Charter denied.
What began with School Board member Frank Barbieri asking for a conversation about an application to build a seventh Renaissance Charter School in the district ended with the board unanimously denying the charter because by their measure the school was offering nothing “innovative” that the district’s schools don’t.
It was the first time the board took this line, denying a charter simply because they deemed it had nothing special to offer students.
Charter Schools USA, the company behind the Renaissance application, is bound to appeal the denial to the state. Officials at CSUSA are expected to call with a comment today.
Several board members on their way to re-election, including Debra Robinson and Marcia Andrews, said this fall that they appreciate the role some charter schools play, serving, for example, populations such as severely autistic children, who don’t get complete service within district-run schools.
But they said they were fed up with approving schools that offer nothing special for children and, from their point of view, were built simply to compete for students and the dollars that come with them.
Wednesday at a board workshop, Barbieri echoed those concerns.
“When you have a brand new charter school being built next to an A-rated middle school like Emerald Cove that has no problem with the majority of students there… if we’re going to be in competition with charter schools, let’s level the playing field,” he said. “They have an unfair advantage… we have to take every child that walks in the door… until we have a level playing field, I’m not voting for a charter school like Renaissance that have no more objective than to make profit at the disadvantage of our children.”