General FAQs

  • The new public charter schools would begin operating in the 2025-26 school year. So, August of 2025.
  • The 2024-25 school year would continue to operate under the Alachua County School Board while the transition is prepared.

No new taxes or tuition will be required. Charter schools are funded through the Florida Education Finance Program in the same way as all other public schools in the district. Meaning that state funds stay with the student. Charter schools are statutorily not allowed to charge tuition or registration fees. They can apply for additional funding through federal grants. ( fldoe.org)

If the schools convert, the proposed governance structure, in keeping with statutory requirements for charter schools, would be a governing board. The details are below.

  • 5 seats
    • 3 seats appointed by the City of Newberry Commission (individuals not holding commissioner positions, with at least one being a teacher nominated representative)
    • 1 appointed by City of Archer Commission, but may not be commissioners
    • 1 appointed from Education First
  • Appointment to take place after passage
  • Initial term of 2 years
  • Overall governance structure to be reviewed within that first two year period for confirmation of fit or adjustment if needed

See the "What is a Governing Board" FAQ for more detailed information.

Technically, no. But all three schools would be under joint leadership and unified policies and budgets, operating for all intents and purposes as a local “district” or system of three schools under local leadership.

The City of Newberry will provide the infrastructure, support, financial oversight and legal resources to ensure the new “district” has all it needs from teacher pay and benefits to facilities management to accounting and more. The City of Newberry will NOT be in charge of curriculum, classroom management, discipline or other education related priorities. Those decisions will be made by the Superintendent and Principals in cooperation with the Governing Board.

Yes. The state already has established requirements for class sizes, which are supposed to be: 18 students in prekindergarten through grade 3; 22 students in grades 4 through 8; and. 25 students in grades 9 through 12. However, under Alachua County School Board leadership, we have not been able to attain those sizes. Under this new arrangement, Newberry schools will be able to set and follow these class size standards.

Yes, it will be continued and will be funded by already available state and federal funding.

As the city grows, new development may be assessed fees to ensure the new schools can keep up with that growth, ensuring responsible growth and schools that can meet the demand of new families moving into the community.

Newberry businesses will not receive any new taxes or fees to fund this, but as excellent schools draw more families, Newberry is anticipated to continue to grow in healthy ways, which is good for businesses, creating more customers.

The Governing Board is the Charter School counterpart to a school board, and has many duties and responsibilities which are required by law. Our proposed outline is below.

Governing Board Duties and Responsibilities

  • Set the mission and vision of the school system
  • Work with the City of Newberry to hire the Superintendent and other system-wide support positions
  • Empower the Superintendent and Principals, along with educators, to set the curriculum, classroom policies and overall educational environment of the schools.
  • Empower the City of Newberry, as management partners, to oversee a fiscally sound, transparent and accountable financial model for the schools.
  • Comply with all state requirements for charter school governing boards including.

State-approved Training is required for every member of the governing body of a charter school operating in Florida per State Board of Education Rule 6A.6.0784, including:

  • Each governing board member must complete a minimum of four (4) hours of instruction focusing on government in the sunshine, conflicts of interest, ethics, and financial responsibility as specified in Section 1002.33(9)(k), F.S.
  • After the initial four (4) hour training, each member is required, within the subsequent three (3) years and for each three (3) year period thereafter, to complete a two (2) hour refresher training on government in the sunshine, conflicts of interest, ethics, and financial responsibility as specified in Section 1002.33(9)(k), F.S. in order to retain his or her position on the charter school board.
  • Any member who fails to obtain the two (2) hour refresher training within any three (3) year period must take the four (4) hours of instruction again in order to remain eligible as a charter school board member.
  • New members joining a charter school board must complete the four (4) hour training within 90 days of their appointment to the board.
  • Governing board members must receive training from a state-approved trainer.

Additionally, Charter schools must also comply with any statute governing public records; public meetings and records; public inspection; and penalties (Ch. 119, F.S.). In addition, charter schools must use facilities that comply with the Florida Building Code (Ch. 553, F.S.) and Florida Fire Prevention Code (s. 633.025, F.S.), but are exempt from compliance with the State Requirements for Educational Facilities (SREF).

Source: https://flcharterschool.org/governing-board-member/

Yes Newberry