Process begins to close Sweetwater Elementary
Published: Wednesday, August 1, 2012 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, July 31, 2012 at 10:44 p.m.
The School Board of Alachua County has begun the process of closing Sweetwater Branch Academy Elementary.
Superintendent Dan Boyd announced during a meeting of the Alachua County School Board on Tuesday that the district has notified the charter school's governing board of the plan.
In letter sent to the school's governing board Tuesday, Boyd wrote he will recommend to terminate the school's charter at a Nov. 6 meeting of the School Board. As previously reported by The Sun, Sweetwater Branch Academy Elementary received its second consecutive F grade this year.
Under state law, a charter school that receives two consecutive F grades must be closed.
Principal Ugur Baslanti has told The Sun he plans to either appeal for a grade miscalculation or apply for a waiver to prevent the school's closure.
Deputy Superintendent Sandy Hollinger said the district will provide any data that the Department of Education asks for during any appeal process.
“Depending on where this process goes, they will be closed the first week of November,” she said.
Alachua County School Board member Carolyn Oyenarte said she hopes the issue is resolved quickly so the school year is not interrupted for students.
The School Board also held a public hearing on the tentative millage and budget for the 2012-13 fiscal year. No members of the public spoke, and the board approved both tentative plans unanimously.
The tentative budget totals $300 million, which marks a decrease of about $40 million from last year. The decrease mostly comes after last year's completions of several renovation and construction projects across the district.
Joey Flechas is a Gainesville Sun staff writer.