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School Board To Vote On Two New Charters After Tabling Decision Last Meeting

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Leon County Schools

The Leon County school board votes Tuesday on whether two new charter schools can open in the district. An emotional debate from the last school board meeting two weeks ago is likely to continue.

Scott Mazur is president of the Leon Classroom Teachers Association, which opposes more charters. He addressed the board at its April 10 meeting.

“We have some parents that work three jobs, that don’t have the ability in either money or time, to get to these charter schools. So the opportunity isn’t for all at that point in time,” Mazur said.

Opponents of Tallahassee Classical charter, one of the two pending, have taken issue with one of its high-profile board members. Anne Corcoran is the wife of Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran and the founder of a Pasco County classical charter.

Critics of Speaker Corcoran point to his support of HB 7069, a controversial education funding measure passed in 2017, as an indicator of his backing charter expansion.

But supporters like Bill Mattox say the proposed schools represent a welcome alternative for those who feel their child isn’t being served adequately at a traditional public school.

“I want my tax dollars to be used for any families who wish to go to such schools,” Mattox said.

Board members will also vote on whether to accept Plato Academy, the other school vying for a charter. The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. at the Aquilina Howell Center at 3955 W Pensacola Street. If approved there would be six charter schools in Leon County.

Ryan Dailey is a reporter/producer for WFSU/Florida Public Radio. After graduating from Florida State University, Ryan went into print journalism working for the Tallahassee Democrat for five years. At the Democrat, he worked as a copy editor, general assignment and K-12 education reporter.