JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – After Duval County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Diana Green recommended the school board deny Seaside Charter School's application to open a third location on the Northside, citing lack of diversity, school board members voted 4-3 to follow the superintendent's recommendation and deny Seaside Charter's application.
The vote at Tuesday night's board meeting followed public comment, during which 18 people spoke, including 10 who spoke about Seaside Charter. Those 10 people all had positive comments about Seaside Charter.
The charter school already has two locations: one in Atlantic Beach on Mayport Road and one off San Jose Boulevard near Baymeadows Road. The third location was planned to open in August along Dunn Avenue on the Northside.
The superintendent worried the two current locations lack diversity, but the new location would be in a high-minority area, creating separate but equal schools.
Seaside Charter Board President Ronald Harnek issued the following statement after the board's vote:
Seaside is very disappointed in the Board’s decision to accept Dr. Greene’s recommendation to deny our application for the Northside Campus. We appreciate the votes of three of the School Board members. Seaside’s Board will consider appealing the decision. We have already provided notice of expanding our existing high-performing school and co-locating students at a second campus on the Northside starting in August 2019. We had hoped to expand into the Northside through a new charter contract that could have addressed any concerns the District may have, but the School Board’s decision leaves us without that option for the 19-20 school year.”