Florida ruling may chill districts efforts to challenge charter conversions

Thursday, July 10, 2014

A ruling against the Miami-Dade County Public School District was the first-ever ruling under Florida statutes, written specifically to prevent school districts from taking “unlawful reprisals” against employees who support charter school conversions.

According to a recommended order signed June 30, 2014, by Administrative Law Judge Edward T. Bauer, the nation’s fourth largest school district was found to have violated Florida law by doing just that.

A complaint filed against the district by three former employees at Neva King Cooper Educational Center (NKCEC); Principal, Dr. Alberto Fernandez, Assistant Principal Henny Cristobol and placement specialist Patricia Ramirez, stemmed from their involvement in the attempted conversion of the Miami-Dade public school to a charter public school. To date, no public school in Miami-Dade or Broward counties have converted to a charter school since the legislature passed a law in 2002 which allows such conversions.

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