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Seminole County School Board May Test The Waters On Proposed Tax Hike

After laying out every worst-case scenario — including cutting sports teams and turning thermostats up to the state maximum — Seminole County’s school board is now considering asking voters to approve a tax increase, according to the Orlando Sentinel. School officials have previously sought — and failed — a sales tax hike to help pay […]

Pinellas School Board Recommends Closing Charter School With Scientology Ties

Bonnie Harvin says her 11-year-old daughter is doing well at Life Force Arts and Technology Academy in Clearwater. “She’s a straight A student,” says Harvin. “Her FCAT scores are above grade level. So yes, I do think she has improves. A lot” But Pinellas County school board members say the evidence to close Life Force […]

Should Florida Lawmakers Send A Message To Seminole County Schools?

Seminole County’s school board has found itself a political target at home, and in Tallahassee, for its threat to close down schools due to budget cuts and declining revenue. Seminole is facing a $20 million budget shortfall next year, largely due to the end of one-time federal assistance. The district has proposed everything from saving […]

School Board Member Says Her Special Needs Daughter Was Forced To Leave A Charter School

Earlier this month, an investigation by StateImpact Florida and the Miami Herald revealed that most Florida charter schools are not enrolling students with severe disabilities, like autism or cerebral palsy. The findings caused Miami-Dade School Board member Raquel Regalado to share her own story of how her daughter with autism was forced to leave a […]

MDC School Board Member: Charter School Turned Away My Daughter Because Of Autism

Our recent story on the difficulties students with severe disabilities have found trying to enroll in charter schools has drawn plenty of reaction from parents in similar situations. Just 14 percent of Florida charter schools enroll students with profound disabilities. More than half of district schools enroll similar students. We heard from parents, such as […]

Mapping Charter School Gaps

More than two dozen counties did not have a  charter school during the last school year, despite a rising percentage of Florida students attending charter schools. These interactive maps show the counties without charters and the percentage of students in each county that attend charter schools. Click on the image to view the interactive maps.

Miami-Dade Won’t Close Controversial Charter — For Now

Miami-Dade school district officials say a Coconut Grove charter school is “heading in the right direction” and they will not close the school this month, according to the Miami Herald. The school — which is A-rated — has drawn criticism for a handful of practices: • For years, Arts & Minds has charged fees ranging from […]

School Boards Getting Tough on Charter Applications

Seminole County school board chairwoman Dede Schaffner admits it — her county is tough on people wanting to open new charter schools. But Schaffner said the district isn’t asking anything more than the state asks of Seminole County. Last month the school district rejected three applications for new charter schools. In one case, district officials […]

Charters Not A Choice in Many Florida Counties

In Clay County, high school students can study aerospace, information or agricultural technology at one of twelve specialized academies. But students in this suburban Jacksonville district can’t attend a charter school. There are none. More than one-third of Florida’s 67 counties did not have a charter school during the 2010-2011 school year, according to a […]

Loopholes In Florida Law Mean Little Oversight of Charter Business Deals

This story is a collaborative investigation between The Miami Herald and StateImpact Florida. Read the Herald’s story. People who want to start up their own charter school must go through a rigorous application process. But after that initial hurdle, the school founders get a lot of freedom over how to run their publicly-funded schools and who to hire. […]

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StateImpact seeks to inform and engage local communities with broadcast and online news focused on how state government decisions affect your lives.
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