NewsLocal News


Alleged Tallahassee Classical contract violation could put charter at risk

Posted at 7:20 PM, Apr 04, 2023
and last updated 2023-04-04 19:20:12-04

TALLAHASSEE, FL (WTXL) — Tallahassee Classical School could be at risk of losing state funding and their charter school status.

Superintendent Rocky Hanna wrote in a letter last week that Tallahassee Classical has only four board members rather than the required five. This violation is grounds for potential termination of the charter.

Leon County Schools spokesperson Chris Petley said this is not the first time Tallahassee Classical was notified of this issue.

"We sent an email back in January to their principal informing them that they have gone below their required number of board members, which is five, Petley said. "And we asked for some correspondence from them in January and we did not receive any."

Leon County Schools Spokesperson Chris Petley said Tallahassee Classical School has had only four board members since January.

The charter contract between the school system and TCS indicates that the school needs to fill any board vacancies within 60 days to stay in compliance with the charter or the school district has the grounds to terminate or not renew the charter contract.

That being echoed in the letter sent out by Superintendent Rocky Hanna on March 31st.

After that did not happen, Petley said "We took an opportunity last week to send a letter to Tallahassee Classical to clarify their position."

The letter also said the school violated the charter by not giving the district notice of this vacancy.

The consequence of losing out on its charter means the school could lose state funding to operate as a charter school.

Hanna wrote that Leon County Schools found out about the vacancy through the school's website.

This all amid the school being in the national spotlight over their former principal resigning after a complaint from a parent about an art lesson that involved a showing a sculpture of Michaelangelo's David.

While Petley said this has nothing to do with this letter and non-compliance, he says the school district has seen a slight uptick of questions about enrollment.

"Every day of the week you can go and attend your regularly zoned school. So if anyone, whether they are at a current charter school, private school or home school, if they're interested in coming back to the best public school system there is, they can just visit their home zone school and they can attend and start the registration process there."

ABC 27's team reached out to attorneys representing Tallahassee Classical and had not received a statement or interview about LCS' letter to the board at the time this aired.