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Press Release

Monday, May 4, 2009

DOE Press Office
(850) 245-0413

Florida Celebrates National Charter Schools Week
~ Festivities highlight the important role these schools play in statewide education efforts ~

TALLAHASSEE – The Florida Department of Education kicked-off its observance of National Charter Schools Week today with a special visit from local charter school students. Celebrating under this year’s theme of “Promoting Innovation and Excellence,” students from Imagine School at Evening Rose Charter School in Leon County and Care Charter School of Excellence in Jefferson County treated audience members to displays of song and dance that showcased their overwhelming support for their school.

“Florida is blessed with a diverse population and our education system must remain flexible enough to equally serve every student’s academic needs,” said State Board of Education Chairman T. Willard Fair. “Charter schools allow us to accomplish that goal by offering families an abundance of choices, each capable of providing the quality instruction our students deserve.”

Charter schools are public schools that are independently designed and operated and are among the fastest growing school choice options in Florida. Since 1996, public charter schools have focused on providing parents with smaller classes, alternative curriculum and increased opportunities for involvement in their children’s education. With 389 public charter schools currently operating, and more than 117,000 students participating, Florida has the third largest number of public charter schools in the nation.

“Charter schools are an essential component within Florida’s educational framework and the extraordinary progress we have been making would not be possible without them,” said Education Commissioner Dr. Eric J. Smith. “I’m truly proud of the top quality work these schools are doing and the healthy and effective learning environments they provide for our children.”

To learn more about charter schools in Florida, visit the Office of Independent Education and Parental Choice Office Web site at www.floridaschoolchoice.org. To learn more about National Charter Schools Week, visit www.publiccharters.org.