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Hillsborough School Board To Hold Emergency Meeting Over Charter Schools

A man with glasses centered in frame with a suit and a red tie with multicolored stripes
Hillsborough Schools TV
Jim Porter, attorney for the Hillsborough County School Board, said the board's decision not to renew the contracts of four of the district's charter schools was made legally at a special workshop meeting last month.

The Hillsborough County School Board will meet Tuesday after extended debate with state education officials about the nonrenewal of four charter school contracts.

The Hillsborough County School Board’s decision not to renew the contracts of four charter schools has led to a debate with state education leaders.

Now the board will hold an emergency meeting Tuesday morning to discuss the state’s opposition to the non-renewal.

The move last month to deny renewal of Kid’s Community College Charter School, Pivot Charter School, SouthShore Charter Academy, and Woodmont Charter School came because of problems related to large class sizes, poor academic records, and financial difficulties.

Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran responded with a letter that stated the decision appeared to be “contrary to law” because the schools were not given enough notice.

But the school board stood firm on their vote. Jim Porter, the school board’s attorney, said the decision was made legally.

"There's no precedent for it, we've never had this happen in Hillsborough County before with non-renewals,” Porter said at a previous board meeting. “We've never had a letter from the Commissioner of Education asking that you overturn a decision you made legally."

However, the State Board of Education sided with Corcoran during a meeting held last week at St. Petersburg College Seminole Campus.

The issue was the first action item addressed on the meeting’s agenda.

The Hillsborough County School District could face repercussions that include a dramatic loss of funding.

The school board will meet in an emergency session at 8 a.m. Tuesday to decide whether to reconsider their votes against renewing the contracts.

Jacob Wentz is the inaugural WUSF Rush Family Radio News intern for the summer of 2021.
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