The Villages is an age restricted, gated community in Sumter County with over 100,000 residents–no children allowed. They have a charter school. They just told 140 students they can no longer attend. Something is unreal.
The Villages charter is children of employees in businesses located in the community. It is called a ‘charter school in the workplace’. This means The Villages corporation, which owns the development, can decide not only which students to enroll, but also which companies qualify.
This week they told parents that in order for children to qualify for enrollment, the company they work for must lease their land from The Villages corporation. If your company will no longer qualify, your employees’ children must leave.
The Daily Commercial reported that a spokesman for the company said the new rule was due to the increased number of businesses located there, and the school was becoming over crowded. Thus, they changed the rules and dismissed the children.
I just spent the weekend in Miami at the Commission on Ethics in Education conference. Neither of these representatives was there. We talked about improving charter school oversight and management. One of the panelists mentioned that “Florida is different” than other states. Different did not mean better. Is this the reality that parents will face as charters expand. Are charters really public schools?