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CHARTER SCHOOLS HIT HARDEST Sarasota County Public Schools Deputy Chief Financial Officer Al Weidner (left) and CFO Mitsi Corcoran (second from left) meet with the School Board and Superintendent Lori White during a Sept. 18 workshop. Photo by Rachel Hackney 304 OF THE 349 FEWER STUDENTS THAN PROJECTED IN SARASOTA COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS THIS YEAR WERE EXPECTED AT CHARTER SCHOOLS By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor When he first examined the Sarasota Coun- ty Public Schools' five-day enrollment count in late August, Al Weidner thought the dis- trict might be seeing a new trend — fam- ilies moving from South County to North County. The district's deputy chief financial offi- cer based that on much higher enrollment than projected at Southside and Phillippi Shores elementary schools in Sarasota and the fact that some South County schools had reported considerably fewer students than expected. As it turns out, Weidner told the School Board during a Sept. 18 workshop, his dis- cussions with school principals had indicat- ed, "It's basically been new people moving to Sarasota County." Steven Dragon, the Southside principal, also had mentioned to him, Weidner said, that when families considering moving to the county asked about high-quality public schools, Realtors often mentioned South- side, which is west of the Tamiami Trail, on Webber Street. Additionally, Weidner told The Sarasota News Leader, he had learned home prices

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