School Board denies three charter school applications | www.mypalmbeachpost.com
The Palm Beach School District is in the news again for charter school denials, denying three charters this week, as set out in the below article. Unfortunately, they are becoming one of the of the most hostile districts to charters in Florida, as is evidenced by the current appeal in which they are challenging the constitutionality of the charter school appeal process. Districts should not approve every charter, but I have seen Palm Beach deny strong charters that should have been approved. Even the two dropout prevention charters that were approved this time -when that charter operator first came into Palm Beach with strong applications- they were also denied and had to win on appeal- I remember, because I represented them on that appeal.
The Palm Beach County School Board has denied three charter applications, in part because they failed to show how they would offer “innovative” alternatives to the district’s traditional campuses – a reasoning the district is already in court to defend.The lack of innovation wasn’t the only shortcoming its staff highlighted in its recommendations to deny the charters. It concluded the schools fell short on a variety of marks from curriculum to financial planning.But charter advocate Ralph Arza, a former state legislator who helped craft Florida’s charter law, contends the district is acting illegally, driven by the need to stem the flow of its cash to charter operators.“The law says you have to have clear and convincing evidence to deny,” said Arza, now spokesman for Florida Charter School Alliance. “They are finding ways to deny charters and in doing so they are becoming ground-zero for anti-charter school action.”