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State votes to close charter school where Scott rolled out education policy in 2011

Published Aug. 18, 2014

As thousands of students went back to school on Monday, the state Board of Education voted to close three failing charter schools.

One of the schools, Florida International Elementary Academy, has been in the news before.

Republican Gov. Rick Scott visited its sister middle school, Florida International Academy, just days after taking office in 2011. While touring the Miami-Dade campus, he and former Washington D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee announced a plan to increase the number of charter schools statewide.

"We have to make sure our system does exactly what you are doing here at Florida International Academy," Scott said.

At the time, Florida International Academy was an established middle school that had recently earned consecutive A grades from the state. Its elementary school, Florida International Elementary Academy, was just getting off the ground.

The schools share a common campus and administration.

The elementary school earned an F in its first year. It improved to a D in 2012, but earned failing grades in 2013 and 2014.

State law requires the closure of any charter school that receives consecutive Fs.

Florida International Elementary Academy had applied for a waiver that would have granted the school an additional year to boost its grade. But the state board denied the request, saying the school did not improve as much as neighboring schools had.

Florida International Academy middle, which earned a C in 2014, will remain open.

Neither Florida International Elementary Academy nor Florida International Elementary is affiliated with the university of the same name.

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