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Sunday, May 2, 2021

DCPS approves charter schools hand over fist, other districts fight back.

 This should be all you need to know. DCPS approved a charter school right across the street from an A-rated school. They approve charter schools all the time in areas of town that don't need them; District 7 Lori Hershey's district, Mandarin has more charter schools than any other part of the city. Schools doing great; no problem, let's put a charter in their neighborhood. Schools are underutilized; that's cool; let's put charter schools there too. Out superintendent and board approve them, like that, and not supporting the district's public schools is their job. 

Charter schools were supposed to be teacher-parent laboratories of change that, if successful, were to be replicated in public schools. They were supposed to be innovative and work with public school systems. But, unfortunately, that's not what we have in Florida and Jacksonville in particular.  Here it's all about the money, and since the referendum turned Jacksonville into a cookie jar for charters, the money is flowing like water into the pockets of charters, and we can expect a lot more to open up in the next few years. 

It doesn't have to be this way; districts could fight back.


 After a lengthy debate, the Leon County School Board denied a new charter school's application during Tuesday night's board meeting. 

Red Hills Academy submitted the charter's application in February, which school board members officially reviewed during Monday's agenda review meeting. The proposed site would have been Leon County's sixth charter school. 

The school would be located at 3551 Austin Davis Boulevard near the corner of Mahan Drive and Capital Circle North East. 

The school's application sparked the latest local flashpoint in the debate over the creation of new charter schools, which public school advocates say drain resources from the traditional education system.

Now I don't want to sugarcoat it. Despite what the state constitution says, Tallahassee has stacked the deck against districts and for charters, including putting the district on the hook for any legal fees should a charter fight being denied in court. That being said, if a charter school wants to open up across the street from an A school in a neighborhood that doesn't need one or isn't innovative, isn't this a fight we should have? Doesn't the district have an obligation to fight for the city's children and inform the city's citizens? I think so, but apparently, Greene and the board don't.

We can and should be doing better, and it's a shame that we aren't.

1 comment:

  1. I saw an ad on tv for IDEA "public" schools last nite. I had a flashback to watching those FPL commercials not too long ago when Lenny was trying to sell JEA to them. Talk about deja vu...WTF?? They're not even open yet in Jax & they have an advertising budget for tv spots...smh