South Hamilton Elementary School Will Stay Open One More Year

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- Hamilton County, FL - June 12, 2012 -

At Monday's school board meeting parents and teachers won the race against time.

Now the fate of South Hamilton Elementary School in White Springs, Florida rests on its charter application. The school's governing board is racing to convert it to a Charter School before South's doors close forever.

The Hamilton County School Board had planned to close South before the application ever had a chance to be properly evaluated. But now that closure has been postponed for as much as another year.

Now the school board is going back to the drawing board to form a new plan but nothing they can put together will come in time to keep South from opening for the new school year.

"Now we don't have that worry. We don't have that time constraint. We can move forward hand in hand with the Hamilton County School Board," said Helen Miller, White Springs Mayor.

In August, the Department of Education demanded the district close one of its elementary schools following the continued failure of Central Hamilton in Jasper. They voted to close South because it's physically smaller than Central.

Now the school board will vote to either approve or deny the application next month. If they reject it, South Hamilton's Governing Board can appeal to the Department of Education.

According to Education Commissioner Gerard Robinson, 75% of Charter School applications are declined.