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Bay County Elementary School Could Soon Be Under Charter Operator

MGN Online

The stakes just became higher for a Bay County School to earn at least a C grade for this school year. Oscar Patterson Elementary could soon be operated by a charter company.

Oscar Patterson Elementary has been put on the hot seat for earning failing grades in years past. Now, Bay County Superintendent Bill Husfelt has been denied a request to extend a school turnaround plan for an additional year.

Commissioner of Education Pam Stewart says she recommended the extension be denied because she doesn’t have confidence the school, which has earned an F grade the past two school years, can improve by two letter grades.

“On the current trajectory that Oscar Patterson is on, I don’t believe that it will, given another year on that trajectory, be able to make a C,” Stewart said.

If the school does make a C, however, it can continue to be managed by the district. If it doesn’t, it must either be converted to a charter school, or managed by an external charter operator. Superintendent Husfelt says, stakeholders have chosen the external operator option. But he is urging the State Board of Education to change their minds.

“I would plead with you though, and I’m being redundant, please give them that extra year because that community depends on that school. It is an issue for that community to keep that school open,” Husfelt said.

Currently nine charter schools operate in Bay County. Husfelt says none of those nine are eligible to oversee Oscar Patterson.