Pasco School Board rejects two local charter school applicants
The Pasco County School Board wanted to approve two local charter school proposals, one to serve special-needs students ages 18 to 22, another a math and science focused elementary to serve the Zephyrhills area.
The state laws that made it impossible for them to deny a Charter Schools USA application they didn't like a month ago did not extend to these local applicants, though. Instead, the state's requirements forced the board to turn down both the Center for Independence and the Freedom Academy.
"It is extremely difficult to sit here and feel constrained by state statute and mandates," board vice chairman Allen Altman said.
Each of the applications had several deficits, district staff members said, and had to be denied. They also had merits, board members added.
"Please please keep working on this," board member Cynthia Armstrong told Center for Independence CEO Emile Laurino. "This is the type of charter school I like to see. It is meeting a need of the community."
The board discussed ways to help applicants better navigate the system in the future, asking superintendent Heather Fiorentino and her staff to bring ideas to a future workshop. Story here.