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Can Charter Schools Legally Turn Away Kids With Severe Disabilities?

Tonya Whitlock and her son Tres, 17, say they have not been able to get Tres into Pivot Charter School near Tampa. Tres has cerebral palsy, and the the family said the charter school is concerned they cannot provide all the services Tres needs.

Sarah Gonzalez / StateImpact Florida Tonya Whitlock and her son Tres, 17, say they have not been able to get Tres into Pivot Charter School near Tampa. Tres has cerebral palsy, and the family said the charter school is concerned they cannot provide all the services Tres needs. This month, an investigation by StateImpact Florida revealed [...]

Five Questions About Charter Schools And Disabilities Law

Tres Whitlock and his family said they were surprised to find themselves in legal limbo when they tried to enroll their son in a Tampa charter school. Tres Whitlock has cerebral palsy, and he said school officials told him they did not have the staff to meet his needs. Whitlock’s mother, Tonya, said she still [...]

School Districts Still Hold The Purse Strings: Charter Schools Cut Off

Charter schools are freed from many local and state rules, but school districts still hold the purse strings. And a good way to keep a charter from surviving is to hold back district money. That’s what happening to Balere Language Academy in South Miami Heights, according to the Miami Herald. The school with about 85 students is [...]

School Boards Getting Tough on Charter Applications

More than one-third of Florida school districts did not have a charter school during the 2010-2011 school year.

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

More than one-third of Florida school districts did not have a charter school during the 2010-2011 school year.

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 [...]

Mapping Florida Counties Without Charter Schools

CharterSchoolMap

This map shows Florida school districts which did not have a charter school during the 2010-2011 schools year. More than one-third of Florida counties do not have a charter school, but those counties make up only 5 percent of statewide public school enrollment. Click on a district for more information about charter school enrollment.

Loopholes In Florida Law Mean Little Oversight of Charter Business Deals

The Academy of Arts and Minds in Coconut Grove used to be a shopping mall. But no one was buying space, so the owner of the property founded a charter school and now rents his property to his school. The campus still looks like a shopping mall. There are wrap-around balconies on every floor and the classroom have floor-to-ceiling windows very much like a store front.

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. [...]

So You Want To Send Your Kid To A Charter School…

So you think you want to make the switch and send your kid to a charter school, but you don’t know where to start. As a part of our ongoing series on charter schools, we’ve identified the best places you can turn to to help you decide which Florida charter school is best for your child. Find [...]

Schools You Think Are Charters… But Aren’t

There are a lot of Florida schools that look and function like charters, but really aren’t. And when we embarked on this series, we couldn’t always tell the difference between one public school with a focus on science and another public school with a focus on science. But it turns out there can be quite a [...]

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