South Tech Academy, Palm Beach County’s largest charter school, will open a second school this fall, paving the way for it to become the equivalent of its own school district.
By adding a middle school, South Tech qualifies to convert into what is known in federal lingo as a Local Education Agency, making it essentially a district within a district — and able to get more federal money.
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Florida statutes allows a charter school system to become its own Local Education Agency, a federal designation, to get more federal money if it meets these requirements:
— The charter school system’s governing board adopts a resolution accepting responsibility for all LEA requirements.
— The system must include at least one district school converted into a charter and a school that originated as a charter, as in the case of South Tech.
— The schools can’t contract with a for-profit company to help manage or run the schools.
— The schools in the system must be in one county.
— The combined schools’ enrollment must be larger than at least one school district in the state.
— All schools in the system must have the same governing board.
Source: Florida statutes