Contract disputes involving schools typically get a lot of attention because it directly affects the parents of the children that attend the school. The parents want the best possible education for their children and that means great teachers and reasonable classroom sizes. A charter school in Tallahassee, Florida, is disputing the contract from Leon County Schools.
Both sides appeared before a mediation session with the Florida Department of Education and neither side could come to an agreement. The dispute will now go to an administrative law judge later this month.
In the meantime, the school will break ground this week and officials from the school believe that the contract resolution will be resolved.
At issue is the contract Leon County has with all of its charter schools. As part of the contract, Leon County requires that a charter school report how many students they will serve the next school year by Mar. 1. They have this stipulation in place so that district officials can plan for the next school year and figure out how many students it will have in their traditional schools.
The charter school is in disagreement with this because of the limit on the school-choice law. The school feels that if they reported that they had 500 students on Mar. 1, then they would not be able to take another child whose parents decided after the Mar. 1 deadline. The only exception to this is if a parent removes a child from the charter school, the school can then add another child.
An administrative law judge will decide on this case and either enforces the deadline upon the charter school or will make an exception for this school.
The Tallahassee charter school is projected to have 661 students in its first year and at capacity will hold 1,145 students in grades K-8.
Source: Tallahassee.com, "Charter school protests enrollment deadline," Lisa Fingeroot, April 6, 2012