New bill could affect six Leon County schools

By: Tiffany Lewis | WCTV Eyewitness news
June 19, 2017

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- A controversial new bill was signed by Gov. Rick Scott last week. The bill, HB 7069, puts failing public schools at risk for getting closed or going charter.

Now, schools across the state are waiting for the release of their own grades. Another “D” or “F” could put several Leon County schools at risk.

Rickards High School and Hartsfield Elementary School are among six schools that could be on the path to becoming a charter institution.

Hartsfied Elementary has received a “D” rating for the past two years. Rich Templin, the parent of two Hartsfield Elementary students, feels that the ratings are an inaccurate representation of the school.

“Hartsfield is an incredible school and my children learn and grow there,” Templin said, “We should be encouraging schools like this and helping them get better, not shutting them down.”

House Speaker Richard Corcoran, however, calls the bill “transformational.”

“These are kids who are being robbed of dignity and hope,” said Corcoran. “We want every single child to have an opportunity to get a world-class education.”

Leon County Superintendent Rocky Hanna strongly disagrees with the bill, and believes that it is unfair to the public school system. He believes that it will take much more than this bill to shut the schools down.

“It’s unrealistic to be honest with you, I have full faith that our 40 schools will be up and running just like last year,” Hanna said.

The final Florida Standards Assessment grades will be released in July.

At this time, no changes have been made to any Leon County schools.