Future uncertain for 6 failing schools in Polk County

Image credit Nora Joanne Munoz

POLK COUNTY, Fla. — Six schools have failing grades in Polk County. Now, the state says if the schools don’t pull those grades up, it will step in.

The underperforming schools are Bartow Middle, Garner Elementary, Griffin Elementary, Kathleen Middle, Lake Alfred Polytech Academy and Lake Marion Creek Middle.

If the schools’ grades don’t turn around by June, the district has three choices– shut down the schools, turn them into charter schools, or pay a private company to take over day-to-day operations until the schools get passing grades.

“I don’t think that’s a wise decision,” said one parent.

“If that would happen he wouldn’t go to school here because i wouldn’t trust it,” said James Chapman.

If Polk County Schools Superintendent Jacqueline Byrd has it her way, a private company will be paid to come in and help.

“For the schools it’s better flexibility we will have our schools back versus us closing or moving them over to a charter school,” says Byrd.

She is expected to give her official recommendation to the school board during a board meeting at 9 a.m. today. A public meeting is scheduled for the end of February, which is also when we could see a vote on the board’s decision.

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