Shuttered: Florida's Failed Charter School Coverage

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A nine-month Naples Daily News investigation found failures by charter school operators and cracks in Florida law have led to the closure of 119 campuses since 2008, an average of one every three weeks. Those closures have displaced an estimated 14,000 students, many of whom were shuffled back to traditional public schools.

Most Florida charter schools have performed very well, both academically and financially. But many others are struggling, and ultimately failing, in a charter school system that has a few issues that the Florida Legislature has struggled to address.

Shuttered: Florida's Failed Charter Schools — a four-part series by the Naples Daily News publishing on Sept. 14, 17, 19 and 21 and available online at naplesnews.com, provides a portrait of Florida’s charter system, which fosters many successful schools but also allows dozens of ill-prepared operators to educate Florida’s children.

A nine-month Naples Daily News investigation found failures by charter school operators and cracks in Florida law have led to the closure of 119 campuses since 2008, an average of one every three weeks. Those closures have displaced an estimated 14,000 students, many of whom were shuffled back to traditional public schools.

As part of the investigation, the Daily News reviewed hundreds of documents, analyzed financial and academic performance data and interviewed more than 60 people connected to the charter system. The Naples Daily News also produced a first-of-its-kind database, which details how each of those 119 schools met its end.

Naples Daily News reporter Jacob Carpenter discovered some serious cracks in the system during his nine-month investigation. “Most Florida charter schools have performed very well, both academically and financially. But many others are struggling, and ultimately failing, in a charter school system that has a few issues that the Florida Legislature has struggled to address. Each failure impacts Florida’s students in many ways, and how the state addresses those closures remains to be seen.”

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Jacob Carpenter
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