The decision by the Leon County School Board, in April 2021, to deny the application for the Red Hills Academy was overturned today by the Charter School Appeal Commission.
The panel recommended the approval of the new charter school, stating there was no “substantial competent evidence” for the denial made by the Leon County School Board (LCSB). The application was originally voted down in a 3-2 vote by the LCSB due to concerns regarding the school’s budget and safety.
The school’s application raised discussion regarding charter schools draining resources from the traditional public education system. Though charter schools are considered public schools they are run by nonprofit boards and they have the autonomy to mostly govern themselves, not having to comply with district policies. Red Hills Academy, if approved, will be Leon County’s sixth charter school.
Going forward, the application by Red Hills Academy will go to the Florida Board of Education for consideration. If the school is approved, the Red Hills Academy plans to opening their doors in August 2022, says Laura Joanos, the chair of the Red Hills Academy Board.
Joanos, stated during an interview, “It’s going to be a small school, it’s going to be a very nurturing, family-oriented school, and we’re very excited about it!”
She commented that the school will be offering “great curriculum for the kids in Leon County.” The curriculum will include a second language which will be taught daily.