Putting Education Reform To The Test

3 Florida Charter Schools Voluntarily Close 20 Days Into the School Year

Jasoon / Flickr

Three Broward County charter schools have voted to voluntarily terminate their contracts with the school board.

Today marks 20 days into the school year in Broward County.

For some students today will be the last day on their campus and with the teachers they started the year with.

Three Broward charter schools have voted to close their doors:

  • Touchdowns4life Charter, a middle school in Tamarac, Fla.
  • Eagle Charter Academy, a 6-12 grade school in Lauderdale Lakes, Fla.
  • SMART Charter, a middle school in Lauderdale Lakes, Fla.

According to the school district, a letter sent home to the parents of students at Eagle and SMART stated “that the closures are due to low enrollment.”

When traditional public schools are forced to close, school boards decide at the end of the school year. But charter schools can choose to close at any time. Its one of the risks parents and students take when they choose to enroll in a charter.

On Tuesday, September 11, the governing board of Touchdows4life Charter School voted to voluntarily terminate their contract with the Broward County School Board, according to the district.

On Wednesday, September 12, the management company of Eagle Charter Academy and SMART Charter School sent home a letter to parents saying both schools would be closing their doors today.

On Thursday, September 13, the governing boards of Eagle Charter and SMART Charter told the district they voted to voluntarily terminate their contract with the Broward County School Board.

Here’s a statement from Broward County Public Schools on where students at those closing charter schools can go next?

We welcome the students of Eagle Charter Academy, SMART Charter School and Touchdowns4life Charter School to attend their District “home” school. Parents and students can identify their District “home” school by clicking on the District’s School Locator: http://locator.browardschools.com/edulog/school-locator.

If you need further assistance, please call us at (754) 321-2380.

Public school funding is based on student enrollment numbers at each school. And Florida schools take their head count on the 20th day of the school year.

Update 9/14/2012 at 4:58 pm

We heard back from the Broward County school district. It turns out the state has pushed back the day schools take their student head count to Tuesday, September 18th because some schools had to close due to Tropical Storm Isaac

And the district says the state will determine full-time equivalent (FTE) funding in the second week of October.

Our original post 

So what happens if students from the closing charters enroll in traditional public school after the head count?

Can traditional public schools still get funding for those students?

We’ve asked the Broward County school district if there are any exceptions. And we’ll update you once we hear back.

Tell us your thoughts about public charter schools voluntarily closing during the school year.


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