Three Pasco charter schools seek lengthy contract extensions
Just weeks after winning approval to increase their enrollments, three charter schools are asking the Pasco School Board to extend their contracts years into the future.
The Athenian Academy and Countryside Montessori have requested 15-year extensions. Dayspring Academy initially sought 15 years, but settled upon adding five years to its existing contract instead after realizing the agreement would not be up for renewal until 2013, and not this year.
The Legislature has made it possible for charter schools rated "high performing" to have long-term contracts of up to 15 years, in part to give them added security in financial matters. All three of the charters seeking longer terms have gotten the "high performing" label from the state.
The new law doesn't really give school districts much discretion over whether to approve the contract renewals. It does, however, give districts continued authority to annually review the schools and terminate them for cause during the term of the contract. The district staff has recommended granting the contracts.