You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myPalmBeachPost.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myPalmBeachPost.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myPalmBeachPost.com.

Palm Beach County School Board to fight in court for right to reject charter schools


The Palm Beach County School Board is taking its battle with a charter school chain to court, voting Tuesday to appeal for the right to block a charter school from opening west of Delray Beach.

The move could provide a test case for school boards across the state looking to exert greater control over the expansion of charters within their districts, but the effort is likely to be fought bitterly by charter school companies.

In December, the board rejected an application by the South Palm Beach Charter School, saying that the school was proposing no “innovative” programs. The school was to be operated by Charter Schools USA, a for-profit chain that already operates six schools in the county under the Renaissance franchise.

But in April, the Florida Board of Education overruled the school board’s decision, allowing the charter school to open after all.

Now school board members hope to overturn that decision in a court of appeals. Led by School Board Vice Chairman Frank Barbieri, board members voted unanimously to challenge the state’s decision, saying that doing so was in the best interest of students.

“We must look at the process,” board member Marcia Andrews said. “We must make sure our programs we’re bringing forth have innovation.”

School board members are worried about increased competition from charter schools, which are projected to enroll about 24,000 of the county’s roughly 185,000 public school students next year.

Barbieri pointed to language in state law that says that school boards that oversee a charter school “shall ensure that the charter is innovative and consistent with the state education goals.”

That language, he argued, should allow school boards to reject applications from charter schools that don’t promise to offer new curriculums or teaching techniques.

“I see nothing innovative about a Renaissance or a Franklin charter school,” he said, naming two local charter school chains. “What do they do that [traditional public schools] don’t do? It’s not innovative anymore.”

Ralph Arza, a charter school lobbyist, urged board members before the vote not to appeal the state’s decision, saying the legal battle would waste taxpayer dollars.

“We’re here to work in a spirit of cooperation with the school district,” he said.

School board attorney JulieAnn Rico said the board’s decision appears to be the first time that a school board will go to court in Florida to argue its right to reject charter schools for not being “innovative.”

“I think it will definitely provide one of the first legal decisions on this particular aspect of the statute,” she said.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Teaser trailer for Stephen King’s ‘It’ released
Teaser trailer for Stephen King’s ‘It’ released

Clowns will be haunting your nightmares, thanks to the master of horror Stephen King and latest big screen adaptation to one of his best selling books. >> Read more trending news The teaser trailer for the reimagined “It” was released Wednesday.  Pennywise is the true embodiment of the terror that many people feel when they...
NEW: Alligator spotted on Florida tennis court
NEW: Alligator spotted on Florida tennis court

One Florida reptile seemed ready to leave the swamp to make it as an athlete when it was spotted on a Sarasota tennis court Wednesday. <div></div><br><blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Someone was looking for a match this morning at the Englewood Sports Complex. Maybe...
Giant gator interrupts golf match, strolls through links like a regular player  
Giant gator interrupts golf match, strolls through links like a regular player  

A giant alligator interrupted a golf tournament in South Carolina, sneaking onto the links and sauntering by stunned golfers who watched in amazement as the dinosaur-like creature walked by. Players teed off at the 10th Annual Celebrity Golf Invitational on Kiawah Island on Monday, but the star of the competition wasn’t a golfer. It was the huge...
What we loved at these restaurants in Boca Raton 
What we loved at these restaurants in Boca Raton 

Our Palm Beach Post writers anonymously visit a restaurant in your neighborhood each week in search of the best menu item. We have rounded up the best neighborhood eats in Boca Raton and tell you why they liked each one! Reason To Go: The huge menu proves there’s something for everyone, especially when it’s tough to agree on a...
BREAKING: One dead, 2 injured at West Palm Beach shooting scene
BREAKING: One dead, 2 injured at West Palm Beach shooting scene

One person was found dead and two others injured Wednesday afternoon at a shooting scene in a West Palm Beach apartment complex, city fire rescue crews said. Police confirmed the shooting shortly before 2 p.m. inside a unit in the Caribbean Villas apartment complex off Haverhill Road. The neighborhood is north of 45th Street, about a mile north of...
More Stories