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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Seminole district challenges charter school law



Florida's new charter school law allowing the replication of "high performing" charters has many school district leaders feeling hemmed in.

The Pasco County School Board approved an application by Charter Schools USA despite major reservations, with members suggesting they had no choice.

Seminole School Board members decided they'd rather fight the law.

"It totally takes away the board's absolute authority to decide who opens a school in the district," Darvin Boothe, who lobbied the Legislature against the new law on behalf of Seminole schools, told the Orlando Sentinel.

Seminole rejected a Charter Schools USA proposal, challenging the concept of substantial replication. That decision goes to appeal early in 2012. The district also has sued the state, asking a judge to clarify the law.

In the past, the courts ruled against the Florida Schools of Excellence Commission, an independent charter school authorizer, saying school districts have the exclusive constitutional authority to oversee public schools within their boundaries. Sounds like this could turn on similar grounds. Stay tuned.

[Last modified: Wednesday, December 21, 2011 6:06am]


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