In Florida, where charters spring up like wildflowers in shopping malls, the Miami-Dade School Board voted to close down Rise Academy charter school.
Rise appealed to the state board, and the state board reversed the local board’s decision.
The Miami-Dade board went to court, and the court overturned the state board’s decision. That is, the court ruled that the local board was right to cancel Rise Academy’s charter. The charter school plans to sue the Miami-Dade board for damages.
I recall reading in an article in the Economist that I wrote about earlier that one of the great virtues of charter schools is that it is easy to shut them down for poor performance, malfeasance or other reasonable grounds.
This one won’t go without a fight, and the fight isn’t over.
According to the story in the Miami Herald, Rise Academy was closed because of:
unsanitary bathrooms and food storage, a shortage of textbooks, and questionable spending by administrators. The school had no science, social studies, art or writing programs, no student computers, no library — and recess was held on an asphalt parking lot, Miami-Dade officials found.
“The school was a dump,” school district lawyer Mindy McNichols told state officials at a 2010 hearing. “They refused to follow any of the requirements.”
But none of these conditions was a problem for the majority on the state board. Now that the Appeals Court has upheld the decision of the local board, the fight goes on.