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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Proposed new Pasco charter school fizzles



The Pasco County School Board approved one charter school to open in the fall this year. It did so with misgivings. Board members made clear that if the applicant, Charter Schools USA, hadn't invoked the state's new law permitting "high performing" charters to expand, they would have rejected the proposal outright.

Now it's a moot point.

Charter Schools USA, doing business as subsidiary Bay Area Charter Foundation, has walked away from its plans.

"That one really fell apart at the contract stage," board attorney Dennis Alfonso told the Gradebook. "They withdrew their appeal."

The appeal came about because the School Board and Charter Schools USA could not reach a contract agreement in a timely fashion after the group won its charter approval. The sides headed to mediation to resolve their differences, but that also failed. Charter Schools USA filed an appeal with the Florida Department of Education.

Now that appeal is dead. The State Board of Education did, however, recently adopt new rules making it easier for applicants like this to move through the system. Alfonso said the district expects Charter Schools USA to reapply in the future.

In the meantime, Pasco County has no new charter schools slated to open come August. Eleven applicants had tried.

[Last modified: Monday, June 11, 2012 1:39pm]


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