Sunday, October 2, 2011

A Charter School for Palmetto Bay? The Palmetto Bay Village Council will provide the answer on October 17

The Palmetto Bay council appears poised to approve the first charter school to be located within Palmetto Bay.  This action will occur on Monday, October 17, 2011, when the village council takes up the application brought by the Shores at Palmetto Bay, LLC, which is requesting to establish a Charter School facility for 1,400 students, specifically on a five (5) acre parcel near the corner of SW 97th Avenue and SW 180th Street (immediately east of Village Hall).
The public hearing on this application will be held on Monday, October 17, 2011.  You can read the full Zoning Analysis by clicking HERE.   

CLICK HERE to review the plans filed by Shores at Palmetto Bay, LLC, with Palmetto Bay (90 page .PDF file)

A brief history of Charter Schools:

Liberty City Charter School in Miami became the state’s first charter in 1996, the same year that Florida approved Charter Schools. The number of charter schools have grown steadily since that first school, reported now to number more than 500 with over 154,000 students for last school year (2010-2011 school year).  This number approximates 10% of all students enrolled in Public K – 12 for last school year.

These facts are discussed in a recent online article of StateImpact Florida: From Minnesota to Miami: The History of Florida Charter Schools

StateImpact Florida bills itself as a collaboration of local public radio stations and NPR. Reporters John O’Connor and Sarah Gonzalez travel the state to report on how education issues affect you. Read their reports and listen to them on NPR member stations. Click on the headline above or CLICK HERE to view the recent article “From Minnesota to Miami: The History of Florida Charter Schools” posted September 28, 2011, by reporter John O’Connor.

Is the Palmetto Bay Council following a trend? 

Finally, back to the source, StateImpact Florida, an article was posted on September 27, 2011, entitled The Three Types of Florida Charter Schools.  (Click on the headline to view) All of the 500 Charter Schools within Florida gall into one of three categories, ranging from:
1. Non-profits founded by local activists, to schools set up by cities or towns; 
2. Private, for-profit companies managed charter schools; and 
3. School district managed charter schools

The legislature has granted more flexibility to charter schools than traditional school boards in operation of schools.  Charter school liberties intrigue district, posted September 26, 2011, by Palm Beach Staff Writer Allison Ross online with the Palm Beach Post presents action going on within the Palm Beach School District in regard to actual district-run charter schools.  The article details how school districts have grumbled about the flexibility charter schools have compared with traditional public schools and the recent action to incorporate district-run charter schools within their district plan to obtain some of the breaks that charter schools get.


  1. Southward neighbor hood ladyOctober 02, 2011

    This school is wayyyyyyy to big. And personally, I am goina be one ticked off voter if it is approved... It is either a much smaller school and NOT on public park land or a shopping/residential area. No putting 10 pounds of crud in a 5 pound bag.

  2. It is time for this council to do something the first council refused to do, finally stop allowing the NIMBYs from fustrating the progress of the city. The charter school is good for the community. It is good for education. The school will bring quality jobs and redevelop that hole in Palmetto Bay called the Franjo triangle.

  3. This charter school will obviously pass for 2 reasons.

    1. The school It is not located near any current or former elected officials.
    2. There is no way these commissioners will spend any money fighting this charter school as it would take money away from the Palmer private school lawsuit.

    This is a slam dunk.

  4. Why is this zoning issue so quiet? Where are our so called neighborhood champions Shelley Stancyz and Joan Lindsay?

  5. Here come the predictable NIMBY hordes. I can envision the zoning hearing now: "I object, I object." “We don’t like it.” “Traffic, traffic, traffic.” There will be no reason given other than they don't like it. It’s not a butterfly garden or full of shuffleboard courts for the retirees. I wish that these people who hate traffic driving through their neighborhood would quit driving through mine.

    Like it or not, this project will stimulate quality development for the area. It will also bring some much needed quality educational opportunities for our south Dade students. That must really infuriate the NIMBYs.

    This project will improve the area and that will upset the mayor who operates a rundown antique shop that appears not to be ADA accessible. Maybe she fears the slum businesses being pushed out by incoming quality. When was the last time a fire marshal inspected her place?

    I bet it is never inspected by the city because of the business operator’s elected status.

  6. We need businesses and quality jobs. Teaching jobs are quality jobs.

  7. Cindy MedinaOctober 11, 2011

    I realized that Florida's legislators and governor have set up a system to make it almost impossible for city governments to legitimately deny an application for the approval of building a charter school within its city boundaries. The council must follow state laws. I hope Village Attorney Boutsis will provide excellent legal guidance to allow the Village Council to lawfully deny the zoning application on true merits. Of course if this decision is rendered, I expect appeals, and yes, it may cost the Village money to fight. But I'd rather my tax dollars fund this fight than go into the pockets of charter schools' operational budgets.