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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Pasco charter school sees its contract reduced



Poor academic performance at the Athenian Academy of Pasco continues to hamper the school's operations.

On Tuesday, the Pasco School Board reduced Athenian Academy's contract from 15 years to three years, ending June 30, 2016. The reason? Athenian Academy no longer qualified for the state's "high performing" designation that allowed for the longer term.

The school earned a D grade from the state for 2012-13, a year after receiving a C grade. Any school that gets a C or lower in two consecutive years is not eligible for the special status.

Earlier this year, the Athenian Academy's student test results dashed its hopes of expanding enrollment, which was to support plans to grow into larger facilities. A judge supported the district's denial of the added seats, also pointing to the school's loss of its "high performing" label.

School Board attorney Dennis Alfonso said the district could have reduced the charter school's contract to one year, and then required it to apply for renewal after seeing its results for 2013-14. Instead, the administration decided to allow the school more time to turn its scores around, still knowing that a continued decline in performance could lead to the school's ultimate closure.

Athenian Academy officials approved and signed the contract amendment before it came to the board, which unanimously backed the changes on Tuesday.

[Last modified: Wednesday, December 18, 2013 8:42am]


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