The roughly 700 children attending Manatee Charter School will have the option to continue at the school for at least another year. The school, which stood the risk of not having its charter renewed by the School District of Manatee County, was granted a one-year reprieve Tuesday night.
The school board approved a settlement between the district and Manatee Charter during its Tuesday night board meeting. Under the terms of the settlement, the school will enter into a stringent school-improvement plan and will face increased scrutiny from school district officials.
District officials had notified Manatee Charter, located at 4550 30th St. E Bradenton, that the district would not renew the school’s charter in a letter on Feb. 9. District leaders said the school, which is operated by the Southwest Charter Foundation Inc. governing board under Charter Schools USA, was failing to meet the educational and administrative agreements between the district and the charter.
The charter contended most of the district’s issues boiled down to miscommunication.
A group of Manatee Charter supporters attending Tuesday’s meeting cheered the board’s decision. The supporters declined to comment after the meeting, but Derek Kelmanson, director of development for Charter Schools USA, emailed a statement to the Herald.
“We are very pleased with the decision of the Manatee school board staff and superintendent to work with us and do what is right for students at Manatee Charter School. Our collective goal is and has always been to provide the best education possible for some of the most at-risk students in Manatee County,” Kelmanson wrote. “We are confident that we will be able to meet and exceed all of the legal expectations that will ultimately benefit our students.”