Some High-Performing Florida Charter Schools “Run by or Connected” to Legislators


From Jeffrey Solochek at GRADEBOOK:

Keeping with new state law, the Florida Department of Education has blessed 104 charter schools as “high performing” this year. The appellation grants these schools added powers, making it even more difficult for local school boards to govern them. (See Pasco County’s recent deliberations over a Charter Schools USA application.)

The new abilities granted to these high performers include adding enrollment annually without outside permission, expanding grade levels without sponsor approval, getting 15 year contracts, and opening “replicated” schools anywhere in Florida with minimal barriers. Of course, that replication is limited to one per year, but that hasn’t stopped some operators from proposing several all over the state. Keep an eye on that one.

Which are these “high performing” schools?

They include schools run by or connected to lawmakers, including Rep. John Legg (Dayspring Academy in Pasco) and Rep. Seth McKeel (South McKeel Academy and McKeel Elementary Academy in Polk), Rep. Erik Fresen (several Academica schools in Miami-Dade) and Sen. Anitere Flores (Doral Academy in Miami-Dade).

You can’t make this stuff up.

While the school’s earned their grades through legitimate means, there should be concern that they are allowed to operate under different playing rules than do public schools. How Florida legislators like Legg, Fresen, Flores, and McKeel continue to be allowed to vote on and have influence in legislation of which they financially benefit continues to boggle the mind. Will Florida’s republicans stonewall ethics reform again?

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About Bob Sikes

A long time ago and a planet far, far away I was an athletic trainer for the New York Mets. I was blessed to be part of the now legendary 1986 World Series Championship. My late father told me that I'd one day be thankful I had that degree in teaching from Florida State University. He was right and I became twice blesses to become a teacher in the late 1990's. After dabbling with writing about the Mets and then politics, I settled on education.
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One Response to Some High-Performing Florida Charter Schools “Run by or Connected” to Legislators

  1. Sandra says:

    Then, there’s Vice President Joe Biden’s brother, Frank Biden, who is director of Mavericks Charter school. He says he wants to expand to 100. The news reports that validate the information is in my blog. http://grumpythings.blogspot.com/2011/11/charter-schools-101-buyer-beware.html

    You are right on Bob…can’t make this stuff up!

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