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PRESS RELEASE

March 18, 2003

Pam Bryant
Assistant Director of Communications
(850) 201-7130

State Board of Education Acts on Recommendations of Charter School Appeal Commission

TALLAHASSEE — The State Board of Education today acted on recommendations from the Charter School Appeal Commission regarding six charter school appeals.

As a result of the board's actions:

  • A proposal to establish the Round Lake Elementary School in Lake County was approved.
  • A proposal to open the Gulf Coast Academy of Science and Technology in Hernando County was approved.
  • A proposal to open the MACH 4 Charter School in Osceola County was denied.
  • A proposal to open the Ranch School Inc. in Sarasota County was denied.
  • A proposal to open the Progressive C. Learning Center in Broward County was denied.
  • A proposal to open the MACH 4 Charter School in Orange County was denied.

The Board also approved a request to lift the statutorily imposed cap on select charter schools in Miami-Dade County.

"The role of the State Board is to ensure that school boards are not acting arbitrarily in considering approval of charter school applications," said Board Chairman Phil Handy. "The Appeal Commission did an excellent job of thoroughly reviewing and making sound recommendations to us."

According to Florida law, charter schools are public schools. A charter school may be formed by creating a new school or converting an existing public school to charter status. Charter schools are designed to improve student learning and academic achievement and encourage the use of innovative learning methods.

The law changed with the change of the cabinet system to strengthen State Board of Education decisions on appeals of charter school denials. Parties who wish to appeal State Board of Education decisions must do so in the appropriate district court of appeal.