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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Gutless or bought off, which explains the Duval County School Board

At the last school board meeting the board, with the exception of Becki Couch, at the recommendation of Superintendent Vitti, approved a new for profit Charter Schools USA school. They did this despite the four closest public schools to where it will be are all high performing and three of the schools are under enrolled. In short the new charter school was not needed and by siphoning away resources it will undoubtedly hurt the nearby high performing neighboring schools. Coincidentally they approved the school as another charter was closing unexpectedly nearly a month before the end of the school year. 

Palm Beach County when faced with the same situation, a new Charter Schools USA school near high performing public schools offering nothing in the way of innovation said, no thank you. They denied the application and when the appeal was rubber stamped by the State Board of Education, a group made up of charter school enthusiasts, including local business man Gary Chartrand, not educators, the Palm Beach school board decided to continue to fight and is heading to court.

I imagine the two biggest differences between Duval’s school board and Palm Beach is most of the Duval County school board has taken thousands of dollars from charter school operators and supporters and Palm Beach actually cares about doing the job they were elected to do, providing a high quality education to their students.

In public the super and board often bemoan the loss of resources and the poor job many charter school do, however behind closed doors the truth is they are the most accommodating board in the state.

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