- Hamilton Co., FL - June 05, 2012 -
Governor Rick Scott toured several North Florida counties Tuesday including Hamilton County where in Jasper he met with a round table of 50 citizens to discuss economic issues.
During that round table, the mayor of White Springs made her plea to the Governor to save South Hamilton Elementary School from being closed down by the school board or at least support their application to become a Charter School.
After the round table Mayor Miller told Eyewitness News reporter Greg Gullberg why she is so fired up about this.
"It is totally crazy to close an "A" school and move the kids to an "F" school," said Helen Miller, White Springs Mayor.
This all started because Central Hamilton Elementary in Jasper had been failing for too long. The Florida Department of Education forced the school board to make a decision. So they voted to close South because it's physically smaller than Central.
"That's not what the legislature had in mind. That couldn't be what "No Child Left Behind" was all about," Mayor Miller told Gullberg.
Gullberg asked Governor Scott about it point blank.
"Is closing a top performing school to save a failing school something that was ever planned for," Gullberg asked the Governor.
"Well as you know these decisions get made at the local level but we've got quality school boards across the state," Governor Rick Scott told Gullberg.
Governor Scott says he is generally in favor of Charter Schools.
"And the more choice we can provide for our parents, that will raise the bar for all of them. So I'd like to get more information with regard to what is happening there," Governor Scott said.
During the round table, Education Commissioner Gerard Robinson advocated for Charter Schools but says he has to decline 75% of Charter applications. He says he is pro-Charter Schools, but only for "good" ones in general.
"So I'll be interested to watch what happens with this one from a far," Education Commissioner Robinson said.
Mayor Miller says Commissioner Robinson invited her to send an informational packet on the issue. She said she will be mailing it out the next day.