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Teachers College, Columbia University
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Switching to Charter Schools May Get Florida School District More Than They Bargained For

The Chamber of Commerce of Lake Wales, Florida, is considering converting all eight area public schools into charter schools. Charter schools are public schools run by organizations other than the school board. They are an increasingly popular method of school reform. Charter schools have more flexiibility in curriculum and spending than regular public schools. Polk County already has more charter schools that were converted from public schools than any other school system in Florida. A charter schools expert at Teachers College warns, however, that the greater local control that goes along with charter schools also means more work. "(Charter schools have) proven to be popular as an idea politically but . . . in practice . . . with the decision-making authority comes a lot more work," said Jeffrey Henig, a professor of political science and education at Teacher's College. The article, entitled "Lake Wales Could Have More Work if Converted, Will Get 'Local Control.'" appeared in the January 27th edition of the Lakeland Ledger .previous page