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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Is the Duval County school board in disarray?

From the Times Union:

 “We knew they were beginning the school year under a deficit,” Couch wrote in an email to Duval Superintendent Nikolai Vitti.

“Do you think the Board should have been notified of the declining financial status of the school so we could make the determination how we wanted to proceed so as not to disrupt student academic learning during this pivotal time of the year? I am disturbed that we have been completely blind-sided by this when according to state statute the Charter School is required to provide an annual audit report and monthly financial statements.”

Years ago I had a student poop themselves, just go. I asked them, do you think you should have told me you needed to go? Even though I phrased it like a question, like Couch did, I already knew the answer and like her I was disturbed by what happened.

Also from the Times Union: Duval’s school district officials also sent a warning letter to Acclaim in April (weeks before they abruptly closed), the last step before a 90-day countdown to close the school.

Couch asked Vitti why, if the district knew of a significant deficit before the school year started, it did not start the closure process then?

Vitti said district staff acted as quickly as they could to ensure students were enrolled in other schools and that the charter school’s contract with the district gives it time to revise its budgets, correct spending and find the money to stay open.

He said he didn’t know that district staff had sent Acclaim the warning letter in April until afterward, but he trusts his staff’s judgment and feels they acted appropriately.

“Had the charter organization submitted a corrective action plan by May 15 that was inadequate, which we now know it would have been, then we would have likely made the recommendation to the board to close the school,” Couch said in an email to Vitti.

So let me recap the district knew at the beginning of the year the school didn’t have the enrollment to support its program, at the beginning of the year, but they let them proceed anyways. In April, weeks before it closed district officials sent a letter outlining their concerns, a letter, Vitti and the board had no idea about. I get it they are busy people but really come on, a school is on the brink of closing should make the cut list of things they should be told and know about.

After I typed above I stared at my computer my mouth open a little simply speechless. Does above seem like a district that is firing on all cylinders or that has its act together. Our board and super really appear clueless and ineffective and sadly this is not the first time either.

They need to sort their house out.  


  1. Better than being in lockstep...Remember when Couch went along because she wanted to give the public the impression that they are united? I don't want or expect groupthink.

  2. Never underestimate the duplicity of Dr. Vitti.