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Sarasota News Leader March 8, 2013 Page 44 The School Board members Tuesday conveyed to the audience their awareness of the complexity of the situation. Board member Shirley Brown told the parents, "There is a concern when a school becomes a principal," referring to the overwhelming praise parents had bestowed upon Matthews during the public comments portion of the meeting. "Does that mean the parents will take their kids out and bring them into our [non-charter] schools?" if Matthews is forced out. Brown added, "I have concerns with why these actions were taken in the middle of the year. Where are these teachers going to be? Where are these students going to be?" School Board member Frank Kovach added, "Through it all, it appears learning is still taking place. We have to let the legal process proceed and hope our kids are not negatively affected." Parent Tracey Raleigh makes a point to the School Board on March 5. Photo by Scott Proffitt nificant leeway in self-governance, district officials pointed out. The School Board's powers to intervene are usually limited to any breach of the charter. Art Hardy, the School Board's attorney, told A short-term answer has come courtesy of The Sarasota News Leader he was unaware of 12th Judicial Circuit Court Judge Charles Wil- any precedence to guide this matter through liams, who has sided with the local school's the courts. governing board and principal, just until school lets out in May. In a ruling, Williams "I've heard today and heard anecdotally about said he wanted to avoid disruptions to the Imagine issues in Pittsburgh and Atlanta, but, students. He made it clear his decision would honestly, I don't know any details." stand on a temporary basis only, leaving the Board Chairwoman Jane Goodwin concluded final resolution unclear. during the meeting, "This is something that we However, parents, students and the local gov- don't want to get involved in. We encourage all erning board members made it clear they are of you to get to the table and to mediate and eager to engage the School Board in the dis- get this resolved for the good of our children." pute. Hardy paraphrased Williams' comments, notThe school's charter, a contract between the ing the judge wanted everything to stay as governing board and the School Board, is le- routine as possible until after the school year gally binding, allowing the charter school sig- ended. Then all bets are off, so to speak. %

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