1. News
  2. /
  3. Gradebook

Stoneman Douglas commission urges Broward County to close charter schools without armed guards

The commission grew frustrated Wednesday about news that 29 charter schools, a third of the charter schools in Broward, were reported to not have long-term accommodations.
Broward School Superintendent Robert Runcie speaks during a news conference at the Broward Sheriff’s Office Real Time Crime Center in Fort Lauderdale on Tuesday. [MATIAS J. OCNER | Miami Herald]
Published Aug. 15

Fed up with a lack of urgency, the commission created to investigate the events surrounding last year’s shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School pressured Broward Superintendent Robert Runcie to close charter schools that still do not have an armed guard on campus.

Runcie said Thursday morning that the School Board is moving to close one non-compliant charter school next week. For 17 months, all public schools, including charter schools, have been required to have a trained armed guard or a sworn law enforcement officer on campus. Classes started in Broward on Wednesday.

“There’s actually very little a school board can do to impact the compliance of charter schools with statutes and best practices,” Runcie said. “The only lever we have to pull is shut them down.”

The commission grew frustrated Wednesday about news that 29 charter schools, a third of the charter schools in the district, were reported to not have long-term accommodations. Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony reached out to charter schools without accommodations and staffed them with short-term deputies. There was also confusion as a state official testified that he had information to the contrary.

Charter schools, which have their own sovereign school boards, bear the responsibility of being in compliance with the law.

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said he received emails late Wednesday night from charter schools with contracts for police protection that were signed in the past two or three days. One charter school attached a 13-day contract with Hallandale Beach police that was not signed by the city.

“Can’t do business that way,” Gualtieri said. “This is not right. This should’ve been done a long time ago.”

Runcie would not publicly reveal which charter school is up for termination, citing safety concerns.

The superintendent gave a timeline of the district’s efforts to warn charter schools that they were out of compliance with the law. He said no charter school has reached out to the school district for guardian training.

“I do not have the authority to revoke a charter because a school does not have a long-term sustainable plan,” he said. “If there’s noncompliance, we will sanction.”


  1. Greco Middle School in Temple Terrace has 183 more students this school year than last. Middle schools grew in enrollment this year, while elementary schools lost more than 1,200 students.  [Times | 2013]
    The 20 day count shows ever more crowding in southeast Hillsborough.
  2. The Florida House Education Committee focuses on early education in its first meeting of the 2020 session. The Florida Channel
    Gov. Ron DeSantis also had set a priority of getting more youngsters ready for kindergarten.
  3. Wendell Krinn Technical High School in Pasco County opened in August 2018. The district wants to open an east-side technical high school in 2022. JEFFREY SOLOCHEK  |
    The past department head was removed over several performance concerns.
  4. Pinellas Sheriff's trainers line the back of the room as more than 100 school security officers, or "guardians,"  began training.
    A roundup of stories from around the state.
  5. Students and community activists marched in Tampa last year after the Feb. 14, 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. The attack killed 17 people and gave rise to Florida’s school guardian law, which this year was changed to allow classroom teachers to be armed. Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the measure into law. [MONICA HERNDON   |   Times]
    "This is the dumb, backwards stuff that we do here,” one Florida lawmaker said.
  6. Pasco High School's state grade for 2019 remains an "incomplete," with state officials finding not enough students were tested.
    A fourth has its request rejected, leaving it with an “incomplete” mark.
  7. The USF St. Petersburg Campus, Thursday, June 19, 2014.
    A roundup of stories from around the state.
  8. A view of the student center at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg, where opposition is mounting over a plan to consolidate USF's three campuses. Some state lawmakers are opposed to parts of it that would concentrate authority over academic decisions in Tampa. CHRIS URSO   |   TIMES  |
    They say the proposal by USF president Steve Currall conflicts with a new Florida law by giving too much authority to the Tampa campus.
  9. Wreckage left behind by Hurricane Michael. News Service of Florida
    Entire school systems are still recovering from long-standing damage and dealing with the disruptive aftermath of the storm.
  10. The National Merit Scholarship program has announced the names of semifinalists for scholarships to be offered in the spring.
    These students are among the top 1 percent of high school seniors in the nation.