‘Our hands were tied’: Hillsborough charter schools renewed after vote to pull contracts

Hillsborough County

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The Hillsborough County School Board voted to renew its charter schools in a special meeting Tuesday morning.

This comes after the district tried to cancel the contracts of four charter schools in a vote last month, which would have left 2,000 students without a school this fall.

Last month, the Hillsborough County School District voted to end contracts with Kids Community College Charter School, Pivot Charter School, Southshore Charter Academy, and Woodmont Charter School.

The district said these four schools were not providing the proper services or meeting the needs of students and families.

One of the board members said parents with kids at these schools should ask are if there is a school nurse, a library, or a mental health counselor in the school.

However, the State Board of Education doesn’t want the contracts with those four charter schools to be cut.

Hanging on the line, almost a billion dollars in funding from the state could impact all 200,000 students in the county.

Ultimately. there was a 6-1 vote to renew the contracts for all four charter schools.

“It was hard just to say ‘Yeah okay, we’ll step back’ because just like everyone here, when you believe in something and have credible evidence, it’s against the grain of ethics,” said Lynn Gray, Chair of Hillsborough County Public Schools.

The superintendent said the charter schools have one calendar year to meet compliance with the school district’s action plan.

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