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CHARTER CHALLENGES Sarasota County Schools Superintendent Lori White listens to a speaker during the School Board's Sept. 18 workshop. Photo by Rachel Hackney FOUR OF FIVE NEW PROPOSED SARASOTA COUNTY CHARTER SCHOOLS FAIL TO MEET STATE CURRICULUM STANDARDS By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor Four of the five new charter schools proposed for Sarasota County starting in the 2014-15 school year failed to meet the required state curriculum standards in the initial plans they presented to the School Board for review, dis- trict officials said. However, board members' questions about those deficiencies during a Sept. 18 workshop prompted School Board member Frank Ko- vach to suggest some of his colleagues were intent on discouraging new charter schools from opening. Chairwoman Caroline Zucker agreed to Ko- vach's request for the School Board to engage in a full discussion of the topic during a later workshop. All the charter applicants were being accord- ed time to address their plans' deficiencies, Natalie Roca, executive director of integrated instructional support services for the school district, explained at the outset of the work- shop discussions. The district committee that reviews the applications would meet two more times, Roca added, before turning over the final materials to the School Board for its votes during the Oct. 16 regular meeting. "You may approve an application that has some deficiencies," Roca told the board mem-

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