Charter expansions could cost Pinellas Schools nearly $6 million
Several charter schools in
That could be bad news for Pinellas County Schools.
The district has had declining enrollment for years now, with numbers dipping to 101,494 this year. That’s a loss of more than 12,000 students since 2003. Many of the charter schools that are flourishing are located in areas with struggling public schools.
The charters requesting expansion include: Academie Da Vinci Charter of the Arts in
A new charter school also could be approved (contingent on the sale of
Pinellas Prep and Pinellas Primary are on the same campus and have the same governing board. Pinellas Primary also has asked to change its grades to K-3 rather than K-4. Both schools had been serving fourth graders, but school officials found that the arrangement confused parents, according to district documents. Pinellas Primary reported a waiting list this year.
The School Board will consider the charter requests at its meeting Tuesday. Board members don’t have much latitude when considering the requests.
Here are the proposed enrollment increases:
Academie Da Vinci: To 250 from 238 (at a cost of $74,363 to the public school system)
Pinellas Preparatory Academy Charter: To 506 from 440 ($340,341)
Pinellas Primary: To 350 from 246 ($2.2 million)
University Prep: Brand new, with enrollment up to 564 ($3.2 million)