Pinellas students transfer out of four low-performing elementary schools
Dozens of students transferred this year out of four low-performing elementary schools in south St. Petersburg, taking advantage of a long-standing state law.
According to the Pinellas County School District, 88 students opted to transfer to higher-performing elementary schools. The transfers include: 26 students from Fairmount Park to Bauder; 22 students from Campbell Park to Cross Bayou; 22 from Lakewood to Azalea; and 18 from Melrose to Fuguitt, Curlew Creek and Pinellas Central. (Most of the students from Melrose went to Fuguitt.)
The Gradebook has gotten several calls and emails from people who are concerned that students are being transferred involuntarily. But families must choose to use the state's opportunity scholarship program, which allows them to transfer out of schools that earned an F or three consecutive D grades. The state program has been in place since 1999. It was amended in 2006 after the state Supreme Court struck down a portion of the law that allowed transfers to private schools.
Students started the year at their zoned schools.
It's worth noting that three of the five lowest-performing elementary schools in south St. Petersburg improved their school grades this year. Maximo improved so much that students no longer have the option to transfer out via the state law. The school, which had earned five consecutive Fs, improved to a C.