Schools of Hope

Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran has set his sights on Duval County Schools. The district has nearly a dozen chronically low-performing ones and at Wednesday’s state board of education meeting, Corcoran clashed the district’s new superintendent over how to improve them.

alamosbasement / Flickr

In 2017 the legislature decided to give greater incentives to charter schools to serve students in low-performing traditional schools. Today an attempt to expand where the schools of hope could open up was approved in the House.

A new law aimed at stopping so-called “failure factories” could ensnare two Leon County Schools. But  Superintendent Rocky Hanna says he’s got no intention of handing over control of either Pineview Elementary or Oakridge.

Hanna says he expected for Pineview Elementary School’s grade to be lower this year. The school got a new administrative team in the middle of the school year. The old principal resigned after forging parent surveys. But Hanna didn’t anticipate Pineview would get an “F” grade. It got a “C” last year.

Somerset Academy Inc., is one of new “Schools of Hope” operators in Florida. A law approved last year allows additional state funding and exemptions to charter schools that open near failing public ones.

Illinois Network of Charter Schools

More than a dozen school districts are challenging a law requiring them to share local construction funds with charter schools. But  some of those same districts also getting a portion of the extra funding the new law provides.

A teacher reads to her student.
U.S. Department of Education / flickr

Florida lawmakers appear to be moving forward with a House priority bill boosting funding to charter schools that set up near chronically failing public schools. The measure, dubbed schools of hope, is a priority of House Speaker Richard Corcoran but its final form is still being debated.

Florida has more than 100 schools that it labels persistently failing. Those schools have earned D’s and F’s for several years in a row. Many of them suffer from high poverty and high teacher turnover. The issues facing parents, teachers, and students in such schools are complex. Now a House panel has unveiled a plan that would change the way the state deals with such situations.