Pasco officials look favorably on previously rejected charter school
A proposal by Anne Corcoran, wife of state Rep. Richard Corcoran, to open a classical education themed charter school faces a friendlier reception in the Pasco school district this year than it did a year ago.
Last year, reviewers recommended against approving the concept, which also featured incoming state House speaker Will Weatherford as a backer. They contended that the application was lacking in several key areas, including a failure to set aside enough funds to meet some requirements of Senate Bill 736.
This year, the district review team does not harbor similar concerns. In its recommendation to the School Board, the team says that the applicants meet or partially meet 17 of 18 criteria. The only one not in compliance deals with providing adequate services to students learning the English language. Officials noted that the likely location of the school, in Wesley Chapel, could draw many students needing those services. The proposers would have to fix that issue during contract negotiations, they suggested.
The staff recommendation to approve the charter is not a guarantee. A week ago, the School Board unanimously overruled the staff to reject an application to open a virtual charter school run by K12 Inc., a national firm involved in several controversial investigations. The Orange and Seminole school districts this week followed in Pasco's footsteps, also turning down Florida Virtual Academy applications for a second consecutive year. Challenges are expected.