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Category archives for: Charter Schools

Teachers Union has No Standing to Sue Over Florida’s School Voucher System, Judge Rules

| May 18, 2015

The voucher-like program provides tax credits to companies that donate money to nonprofit entities that help pay for children to attend private schools. Some 70,000 students are enrolled.

7 Flagler Schools Share $668,000 in Bonus Dollars for Improving or Keeping High Grades

| March 3, 2015

The money rewards schools that either maintain A or B grades or improve significantly toward such grades. It is one of the reasons Florida’s high-stakes testing has been facing criticism, as student testing is directly tied to monetary consequences.

District Adopts School Calendar It Did Not Want, Starting Late and Shortening Thanksgiving Break

| February 17, 2015

The Flagler School Board wanted to start school in early August to give students more time to prepare for exams, but state law forbids it, forcing a calendar of its own on local districts.

Parents Ask Judge To Disqualify Union From Challenging School Voucher Program

| February 9, 2015

Lawyers for the state and parents whose children use Florida’s de facto school-voucher program argued Monday that groups including the state’s largest teachers union don’t have the right to challenge the program in court.

With Generous County Subsidy, Christian School May Be Next Tenant of Old Courthouse

| February 9, 2015

County government will vote Tuesday on a proposal by First Baptist Christian Academy of Palm Coast to lease the old courthouse in Bunnell for $5,700 a month, and with an interest-free, 30-year tax-funded loan of $360,000.

At Imagine School, Fire Inspection Is Cause For Caution, But “Just For Next Couple Of Weeks”

| January 7, 2015

Palm Coast’s fire chief is incensed by the deception of a cautionary email to school staff this week that warns of a coming fire inspection, but also suggests that problem items must be removed or rearranged only “until after the inspection.”

Lawsuit Opposing School Voucher Expansion Is Thrown Out Again, Likely Ending Challenge

| December 31, 2014

A judge rebuffed claims by a teacher and two parents who joined the new lawsuit that the expansion of the Tax Credit Scholarship Program hurt them because it could lead to reduced funding for their schools.

Judge Rules Parents Can Join Lawsuit Over Florida’s School-Voucher Program

| December 7, 2014

Parents and their lawyers said they should be allowed the full-party status because their children would lose access to what is known as the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship program if the court finds it unconstitutional.

Charter School Grades Should Alarm Every Floridian as Drag On Districts Continues

| July 22, 2014

The idea that charter school operators should make a profit by providing children a better educational experience should offend no one. The fact that the numbers say they’re not doing a better job, while they’re draining away precious public resources, should alarm everyone.

Florida’s Teachers Union Sues State Over “Sneaky” Last-Minute Voucher Expansion

| July 17, 2014

The voucher expansion had appeared dead in the Senate until getting approved in a broader bill in the waning hours of the 2014 legislative session. The Florida Education Association charges the state “log rolled” that and other education issues into a single bill.

Flagler School District Rated B For 2nd Straight Year Despite Seven A-Rated Schools

| July 11, 2014

A-rated schools included Bunnell, Rymfire, Old Kings, Wadsworth and Belle Terre elementaries, along with Indian Trails Middle and Palm Harbor, the charter school that just two years ago was failing. The district will earn several hundred thousand dollars in bonuses.

Flagler Students Post Wide Gains in State Rankings in FCAT Reading, Math and Science

| June 6, 2014

Overall, Flagler students improved their rankings in Florida in 12 categories while dropping back in seven, providing many bright spots but also a few worrisome ones.

Flagler District’s 4th Graders Rank 6th in Writing in Florida, 3rd Graders Rank 10th in Reading

| May 23, 2014

The Flagler County school district had a few results to celebrate as the Department of Education on Friday released FCAT writing scores for 4th, 8th and 10th graders and reading and math scores for third graders.

As Baker Acting of Children Soars, Flagler School Board Grapples With Perceptions of “Outrage”

| April 3, 2014

Baker Acts involving children in schools has reached 32 so far this year, three times more than last year, prompting one school board member to call herself “outraged” at the police-led manner in which most such Baker Acts are carried out, even with teens and younger children.

“Opportunity Scholarships”: Lawmakers Revive Vast Expansion of School Vouchers By Riding Coattails of Students With Disabilities

| March 29, 2014

The House Education Appropriations Subcommittee voted 8-4 to introduce the measure, which would bind together a program aimed at students with disabilities and the voucher expansion. Senate leaders last week pulled their counterpart to the House voucher bill, but the measure for students with disabilities remains alive.

The Problem With “Step Up for Students,” Florida’s Voucher Jockey

| March 24, 2014

Step Up For Children CEO Doug Tuthill is shameless about the way his organization–the administrative agent for Florida’s school voucher program–spends lavishly on political races, which may explain why a Senate proposal to vastly expand the voucher program this year foundered.

Inquiry Into 4th Grader’s Suspension at Palm Harbor Charter School Raises Concerns of Arbitrary Discipline and Due Process

| December 12, 2013

The Flagler County school district is investigating the case of a fourth grade girl who was suspended from Palm Harbor Academy, the Palm Coast charter school, for two days in late November without documented due process, and in apparent violation of school policy and safety standards.

Stolen School Bus Was Leased to Palm Coast’s Palm Harbor Academy

| November 18, 2013

Palm Harbor Academy, the charter school in Palm Coast, had been unaware that a school bus it was renting from 95 South Tours and Transportation of Jacksonville had been stolen from the Alachua school district.

Easter Seals Becomes Latest Charter Applicant Rejected by Defensive Flagler School Board

| October 17, 2013

Counting Easter Seals, which planned to open two small charter schools for disabled 3 and 4 year olds, no fewer than eight applications for charter schools have been filed in Flagler in the last two years. Six were withdrawn, and two were rejected by the school board, which also forced once charter to close and saw another fail in mid-year and close shop.

That Feared Flagler Schools Enrollment Drop And Loss of $1.8 Million? Didn’t Happen.

| September 6, 2013

Last May, when the school board was campaigning for a new tax, it was projecting a loss of 283 students and $1.8 million. In fact, the district has added a handful of students two weeks into the new school year, ensuring that the state will keep sending that money to Flagler–and reducing pressure on the local district to think of closing some schools.

Most Flagler Schools’ Grades Drop, Following State Trend, As Tougher Standards Kick In

| July 26, 2013

In Flagler County, not a single school saw its grade improve and five fell back a grade, though two maintained their A rating: Indian Trails Middle School and Belle Terre Elementary. Grades would have been worse had the state Board of Education not agreed to artificially prop them up, limiting grade drops to a maximum of one letter grade.

Board Members Balk at 7:25 a.m. Middle School Start Time, But Approve New Bell Schedule

| July 23, 2013

Buddy Taylor and Indian Trails middle school students will have to wake up even earlier than last year when school resumes on Aug. 19, with first-bell at 7:25 a.m. and dismissal at 1:25 p.m. Most other schools’ schedules are unchanged, with high schools starting at 8 a.m. and elementaries around 9 a.m.

Brett Cunningham, a Star On and Off Stage, Is Imagine Schools’ National Teacher of the Year

| June 5, 2013

Brett Cunningham, a fifth-grade teacher at Palm Coast’s Imagine School at Town Center, was chosen from more than 2,000 teachers in 72 schools across 12 states, a yet unparalleled distinction for any teacher in any type of school system—traditional, charter or private—in Flagler County.

Charter-School Trigger Bill Passes House 68-51; Flagler’s Hutson Among Dissenters

| April 5, 2013

Rep. Travis Hutson was among the Republicans crossing party lines to oppose the bill, favered by the charter-school movement, as it would let parents petition their school district to consider a turnaround option for a school that receives an “F” on the state report card for two consecutive years.

Parent Trigger Bill: A Trojan Horse of Corporate Charter Schools

| March 20, 2013

The so-called parent-trigger bill does not empower parents. Rather, it empowers out-of-state corporate interests and their lobbyists to siphon Florida tax dollars away from our already underfunded public school system, argues Paula Dockery.

Parent Trigger Bill That Would Boost Conversions to Charter Schools Nearing Law

| March 20, 2013

The measure would allow parents to petition their school board to adopt a specific turnaround option for any school that draws an “F” on state report cards for two straight years.

“Parent Trigger” Bill Advances In Backdoor Victory for Charter School Lobby

| March 8, 2013

Supporters say the proposal will improve chances for children trapped in failing schools.Opponents worry that politically savvy for-profit corporations could encourage parents to back the charter school option.

Less Than 5 Months In, Charter School Closes, Upending Parents, District and County

| January 1, 2013

Global Outreach Charter Academy opened hurriedly at the Flagler County Airport in August, with generous lease terms from county government and accommodations from the school board, only to tell its 122 students and staff on New Year’s Day that the school was out of business.

Matanzas High School Is an A School Again, FPC Maintains B, Heritage Gets 3rd F in a Row

| December 21, 2012

The much-anticipated high school grades are in, with Matanzas High School getting the second A in seven years, after three years as a B school, and FPC maintaining its B for the third straight year. Now-closed Heritage, a charter, got what would have been the third successive F.

Flagler Schools’ Overall Enrollment Flat For 4th Straight Year as Charters Keep Growing

| November 2, 2012

Flagler County’s three charter schools’ enrollment exceeds 1,000, or 8 percent of the district, which saw its traditional schools’ enrollment fall to the lowest level since the 2005-06 school year.

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