A year-long battle by the Broward school district to shut down two troubled Fort Lauderdale charter schools is finally over: the schools have agreed to close their doors.
The Obama Academy for Boys and The Red Shoe Charter School for Girls will voluntarily terminate their contracts in June but say they plan to reopen as a private school in the fall.
The two schools have been rife with financial and academic problems, violations of state law and breaches of contract with the district, records show. The district has tried twice to shut down them down: once last March when the schools relocated and failed to provide a certificate of occupancy, and again in October when the schools failed to document how they spent $876,000 in public money.
The schools appealed both decisions to an administrative law judge and have been in a lengthy legal fight with the district since the fall. Christopher Norwood, the legal representative for the charter schools, said the schools' governing boards decided to terminate the charters and begin operating as a private school.
"When you are a private school, you don't have to deal with an elected school board. This school would not have to continue to always look over its back," said Norwood. "There's less regulation."
The owners of the school in effect said, if we can't make it as a charter school so we will make it as a voucher school instead. Less regulation is really a euphemism for less accountability here in Florida. There are undoubtedly charter schools and voucher schools that do it right, unfortunately the system here in Florida is set up so charlatans, mercenaries and people who have no business being any where near let alone running a school can profit handsomely off of our children and as you can see, school choice does not have much use for both democracy, choice school boards are not voted for and accountability.