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Hillsborough school district holds firm against MacDill charter

TAMPA — Last-minute discussions Monday were unsuccessful in securing approval for a charter school at MacDill Air Force Base.

The official position of the Hillsborough County school district: The application for MacDill Charter Academy should be denied.

The School Board will vote on the issue at its meeting today, but board members rarely, if ever, overrule staff on charter applications.

District officials rejected the proposal because they found inconsistencies in the application that made it unclear who would have ultimate authority over finances and management.

Charter Schools USA, a for-profit company based in Fort Lauderdale, would manage the school. The nonprofit Florida Charter Educational Foundation, which works closely with the company, would hold the charter.

There also would be a local advisory committee, but district staff said it was unclear what that panel's role would be. A spokesman for Charter Schools USA said last week that the MacDill arrangement is similar at other schools they operate.

The base commander at MacDill, Col. Scott DeThomas, has spoken publicly in favor of the charter school, which would allow military families in Brandon and elsewhere to educate their children on the base.

The group can appeal to the state if the charter is denied.

Hillsborough school district holds firm against MacDill charter 12/09/13 [Last modified: Monday, December 9, 2013 9:41pm]
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