Red Hills Academy Charter School Files Appeal with DOE

Red Hills Academy Charter School Files Appeal with DOE

Red Hills Academy filed an appeal on June 4th, 2021 with the Florida Department of Education seeking to have their charter school application denial overturned.

The Leon County School Board (LCSB) voted, 3-2, to deny the charter school’s application during the April 27th Board meeting.

A successful appeal will give Red Hills Academy (RHA) the opportunity to open their doors for the fall 2022 school year.

In the appeal, the RHA contends the “reasons for denial advanced by the Superintendent through the School Board do not constitute competent substantial evidence of good cause to support the denial” of the application.

The RHA also argues the LCSB continues to use “sandbagging practices” to block charter school applications.

According to the appeal document, the RHA gave notice to the LCSB on November 13, 2020, of their intent to seek a charter school grant. However, the Charter Application Review Committee (CARC) did not receive any training on their responsibilities until February 2021.

Also, inconsistent with the procedures set by section 1002.33(6)(b), Florida Statutes, the RHA never received any written questions or concerns from the CARC prior to their interview on March 24th, though the committee had compiled a substantial list and ultimately approved the application.

Because the RHA application was added on at the last minute for the April 26, 2021 LCSB workshop, there were no representatives of RHA or the CARC present. The Superintendent only had Dr. Jeff McCullers present, an outside evaluator who voted against the application approval. The short notice of the application review only gave members of the LCSB 24 hours to consider the application before they voted.            `

LCSB members -who voted against the application – argued that several of the five already existing charter schools in Tallahassee are operating under capacity, some below 50%. Vice-Chair Darryl Jones stated that he “couldn’t make an investment of both time and resources to take away from our public schools.”

Charter Schools are funded through the Florida Education Finance Program (FEFP).

The RHA appeal refutes several objections by the LCSB which included concerns that the application did not define policies and procedures, does not provide budgetary projections, and does it demonstrate a reasonable transportation plan that serves all eligible students.

The RHA stated that “throughout its Notice of Denial, the LCSB relies on red herring arguments, errant readings of the Application, and unsubstantiated rationales which ignore the substantive merits of RHA’s application and the recommendations of its own staff review.”

10 Responses to "Red Hills Academy Charter School Files Appeal with DOE"

  1. The funding per student is the same for all schools. Most failing schools are Title 1 schools which mean they actually get extra money from the Federal government. The parents who want vouchers and charter schools are the parents from the failing schools. So give them the money and let them decide. Why should the wealthy be the only ones with school choice.

  2. @Fed Up……… The failing Schools are Failing because they get LESS Money than the Non-Failing Schools, which just compounds the problems for those Schools.

  3. The money SHOULD follow the student and allow parents to send their child to the best school for them. Failing schools SHOULD go out of business, whether they are public or private. Let the marketplace decide.

  4. The Tax Dollars being put into Charter Schools SHOULD be put into the Public Schools, especially the Failing Schools. If the problem is the Teachers, raise the Bar when it comes to hiring Teachers, if it is the School Board and Superintendent Vote in better People,

  5. Perhaps the Leon County School Board attorney should create a lawsuit to sue themselves for attempting to quash illegally the Red Hills application.

    An out-of-court settlement could be reached with the resignation of Mr. Hanna including any of the board members who went along with his ridiculousness… for starters.

  6. @ Snidley… I think you’re on the right track. One could argue that Anti Trust Laws apply in this matter. Hanna and Co used underhanded (perhaps illegal) tactics to basically slap an injunction on Red Hills in an effort to quash competition. It’s akin to McDonalds corporate lawyers trying to prevent a Chic Fil’A from being built across the street.

    More and more parents are recognizing the depravity, dangers, and failure of the Public Indoctrination System. We must demand Choice for our children.

  7. Ya know I hate to tell people what to do…But:
    It would be damn righteous if our Great Governor thru his State Attorney Ashley Moody would suspend their unwritten ” hands off local leftist Leon County Government policy” and step in here to make an example of Rocky for what he did to Red Hills.
    You just gotta know theres something in State Statute/Admn. Code Ashley Moody could use to nail Rocky’s narrow hide to the wall.
    Florida’s 67 local School Boards would probley start serving Florida’s kids a little more and back away from serving wack leftist agenda a little less if The Governor could see his way to make the common sense decision to make an example of Rocky to Florida’s other School Boards. We need a hero Governor theres never been a better time or place to step up Sir. If Ashley is too timid just call Pam Bondi Sir. Pam will have an off the record talk with Ashley which WILL motivate your State Attorney Sir.

  8. Yes, Rocky tried to quash this, but one School Board member cried foul and brought back integrity and honesty. Dee Dee Rasmussen, kudos!

    The process should be honest and Hanna needs to be held accountable for his dishonesty.

  9. Rocky is not gonna like this. When Rocky slaps you down and cheats you out of consideration in the application process you are supposed to stay slapped down and cheated on.
    Rocky is not accustomed to resistance in his world and like a fish out of water Rocky may not know how to react. Other than to attempt more slapping down and cheating.
    Rocky is not happy.

  10. It’s pretty easy to see what’s going on here. The school board is “protecting their property”…and that “property” is the money allocated to your childs right to the best education. Why would they add this application to be voted upon at the last minute without giving RHA a chance to make their case….or even a chance to be heard? It’s called quashing the competition. If you think the school boards first priority is your childs education, then you are probably the ones that keep voting these people in…at the expense of your own childrens chance for a great education!

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