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Charter school vote reversed by school board

BY JENNIFER CABRERA

At their February 15 meeting, the Alachua County School Board reversed the decision they had made the previous week and approved the Constellation Charter School contract. They also completed the process of repealing their permanent facial covering policy during pandemics.

Constellation Charter School

At the February 8 meeting, Member Leanetta McNealy had expressed her concern that charter schools on the east side of town would attract students from the under-enrolled schools on the east side. Even after being told that the proposed location for the school was just north of the university, she voted against the charter school. Chair Rob Hyatt and Member Gunnar Paulson also voted against it.

The charter school contract was back on the agenda for this week’s board meeting, and a staff member referred to as Mr. Green (Alachua County Public Schools told us on February 22 that this was John Green, Manager of Special Projects: School Choice) told the board that he had unfortunately been unable to attend the previous week’s meeting or touch base with school board members, but Constellation Charter’s application had been approved on May 18, 2021. The agenda item was just approval of the standard contract for all charter schools in Alachua County.

Member Tina Certain made a motion to approve the contract, which was seconded by McNealy. McNealy then apologized to the representatives of the charter school, saying that after Mr. Green called her and reminded her that the charter school was already approved, she said it was “all well and good.”

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The vote to approve the contract was unanimous.

Facial covering policy

The board also repealed their permanent facial covering policy on second reading, making the repeal permanent. That process began on December 20, 2021.

Hyatt said the board was “put in this position by the legislature, and then of course the governor signed the bill.” He said he was “so proud to see so many” students at Eastside High School wearing masks: “I would hope that would be a model for every other school in this district… We’re following the law as created in December [editor’s note: the law was passed in November]. Couldn’t wait, had to go ahead and have that special session because goodness knows that the legislative session wasn’t long enough as it is.”

The motion to repeal the policy passed, 5-0.

  • When does Hyatt’s term end?
    🤔
    I guess the important thing is that they have ceased digging in deeper, and are no longer quite *doubling down on stupidity…

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