Monday, January 28, 2013




Fla. Stat. s. 1002.33(18)(a) states that any local governing authority must treat charter schools equitably in comparison to similar requirements, restrictions, and processes imposed upon public schools that are not charter schools.” The phrase local governing authority includes the School Board.  In other words, if the School District can operate the school beyond its capacity, then the non-profit charter conversion can also operate it beyond its capacity. This is the law.  

Especially if the new Charter intends to expand the school to 1800 students to eliminate overcrowding.
Note: After Reading THIS LETTER entirely, PLEASE [cut and paste] to Parents and Teachers email and forward to your KID'S classroom E-lists so they may read our proposal in the manner you have in context.

Dear K8 Parents and K8 Teachers, 

The charter conversion school we are proposing AS PARENTS is the first conversion school of a Miami-Dade District School, not a traditional 'For Profit' Charter school with limited capacity and random lotteries and waiting lists. Our proposal is much more forward thinking and modeled after McKeel Academies schools converted to charter by the Polk County School Board, not by parents, in Polk County Florida. We have proposed a very different 'pro-forma' than a “for profit charter school”. For Profit Charter model where a developer builds on speculation and TAKES THE FINANCIAL risks leasing to a group of parents who care enough for their children's future, to apply for a Charter, get approved by Miami-Dade School Board, and suffer POLITICAL FUNDING consequences all of which the new KBK8 Tequesta School will not have. INCLUDING: NO Tuition -NO Entrance exam -No Lottery -No waiting lists 100% 33149 zip code. The administration of the school is funded directly by 97% of the FEFP Funds or sometimes called FTE Funds directly from the FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION but IN THE CONTROL OF THE KB PARENTS, as guardians not MDPS as stated correctly in The Principal's letter dated January 22nd. 

Our K8 is a conversion charter does not seek profit. It seeks to reinvest every dollar back into the school every year, forever. It does not need to because there are no inherent market pressures mentioned above. 1) No land to purchase it continues to be MDPS owned. 2) The construction is funded by donations and philanthropy and 3) the budget generates surpluses because the building itself is new and more efficient to operate at lower maintenance cost per square foot of building. 4) No District administration economies of scale. They overpay for everything!

Today the District claims it is underfunded by Governor Scott and in deficit while ignoring their bloated economy of scale written in policy manual of MDPS procurement office and overwhelming bureaucracy that wastes and never maintains. Instead our New School with a leaner budget with one employee as school administrator together with The Principal reporting to a finance committee of (7) KB Parents will efficiently use the present funds from the State (based on FTE student enrollment) , which leaves a surplus from $750,000.00 to $1,000,000.00 to reinvest back into our school every year forever. As opposed to what occurs today at the K8 Center: those same dollars are hidden from the taxpayer legally and even from the Principal’s discretion and spent on other schools within the South Florida district on the Mainland. MDPS loses that money if you VOTE YES!! That is the motive the District has to misinform, scare you with the threat to bus 350 kids off the key. No law exists that gives them authority. It is contrary to Village of KB ordinance to that effect passed in Dec 2009 that is reflects the ILA agreed upon by 30 municipalities and the School District.  These surpluses in today’s K8 budget will never be made public. Our Attorney will request the public information request via courts in the meantime. 

Since the passage of School choice initiatives by Gov. Lawton Childs in 1997, Florida was 38th in the nation as a public schools system back then. Today as a direct result of Gov. Jeb Bush's charter school choice accelerated competition initiatives, all Superintendents in every county in Florida had to stay competitive created more magnet schools, more Cambridge Programs, more STEM curriculums, more International Baccalaureate® (IB) and today Florida it is presently number (6) sixth in the nation.

In contrast, to the Teachers opposition claims how those greedy Charter School Developers are, read the attached article on our blog from ‘The Economist’ Magazine titled 'The New Orleans Miracle' how charter saved the City of New Orleans District schools after Hurricane Katrina destroyed, eliminated and blew away 80 schools in 4 hours. Then contrast that reality to Mississippi right next-door affected by the same storm and approved 1 (one) Charter School.

What makes our proposal perfect for our times, is that in the process of taking back our school that has been neglected even after exceeded all expectation countywide, we can have a direct hand at making sure we have a great school for the future kids even if they are not own. Today our unsafe school presently sits below flood grade for a barrier island and under downpours it has reported by parents in testimony before in the Village Council chamber of feces returning back into the classrooms. This is not a laughing matter; most parents for last twenty-five years, just leave to private schools. These proponents will not. Instead we will propose the alternative. Please read all the materials we have prepared and our public statements in the Islander News we have posted for your review in our blog:  

The present student body of 1330 remain as well as their siblings at the K8 Center uninhabited and unaffected while construction occurs on the baseball field for 1800 students. No bussing of 350 students off the Key because it is against the law, No random lotteries, no waiting list no exclusion ;100% Key Biscayne. Instead the opposite occurs more students will be enrolled and welcomed from 33149 Zip code after the new school is built. Upon completion, those attending classes in the old building on McIntyre Street to the campus on West Enid Drive on the South side of the property. What can possibly be wrong with that? Ask yourself; does a new facility jeopardize our ‘A’ School? Or will it likely create an A+++++ plus school. What great teacher will not want to teach here if some of present teachers choose to leave after the YES vote?

With No vote our K8 School if renovated completely, will still not reduce overcrowding and will not bring the old building up to building code or above flood criteria. A 2008 Castaldi study commissioned by the MD District validates this conclusion; it states: K8 Center “has exceeded its useful life" and as such, is waste of Taxpayer money to refurbish. Yet the Village and The MDPS agreed to ignore the engineers. It makes sense if you seek to reduce the K8 to a K-5. By 2016 with a K8 student population exceeding approximately 1560 students the District will have no choice but to reduce the K8 to K5. The Mayor of Key Biscayne hints of that scenario ambiguously, in the January 17th Islander News article (we posted it on our blog). Hon. Caplan is quoted, that a K5 reality will not be “intrinsically a negative”. We beg to differ. But by the time it was obvious to all of parents today that the proponents were correct in our assertions, it is too late to fix and our Village is lesser as a city forever.

Recently it was announced 350 students will have to be bussed off the key and if YES vote succeeds we cannot change alter or demolish the existing school. Well not true. We are in constant contact with the Governors office. Since we are the first parents to use the present trigger letter law passed in 2004, they are watching with interest. If the School Board rejects our Charter Application with $10 million in funding for 1800 students with the promise to build state-of the art school, the Florida Appeal Board will approve it with their veto power. It has 95% record of overturning disapprovals at the County level for charters. Instead the District is announcing to fast track the $2M renovation the Village already wired to the District, to sidetrack our efforts. So prepare for chaos dust and noisy old classrooms, this year.   

Parent Governing Board, with more authority as Guardians of the schools budget. Nothing more nothing less. With one big caveat a NEW SCHOOL WITH ALL THE BELLS AND WHISTLES AND NO OVERCROWDING.

HOW is NOW turn your mirrors to windows and remove yourself from your prejudices for a moment.

MDPS school will never alter itself with lets take the Parents .... "Kindness for Weakness" role-play. They cry deficit, we run to buy paper and pencils, water dispensers and paraprofessional salaries, Smart Boards, video cameras etc. How long with this go on? 

Think of all the South Florida parents with dilapidated district schools in their neighborhoods looking for answer and find out that Key Biscayne Parents took the lead to be bold and shared their personal resources on behalf of your kids. They came out of the discord with the finest K8 educational campus in the Miami-Dade County with a Lit up Library on the roof looking like beacon on the bay. 

On the other hand if opposition is right, we fail and we lied and we were greedy after all, Superintendent Carvalho gets a brand new expanded school for 1800 students for free.  What can possibly wrong with that? 

Vote Yes to convert to charter and tell everyone you did. ó

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