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A NEW SCHOOL FOR SARASOTA It was standing room only in the audience for the Sarasota County School Board's Oct. 16 vote on three new charter school applications. Photo by Scott Proffitt SARASOTA'S 10TH CHARTER SCHOOL WINS APPROVAL, BUT CHANGE IS IN THE AIR FOR CHARTER SCHOOLS By Scott Proffitt Staff Writer The Sarasota County School Board chambers had a standing-room-only audience on Oct. 16 as supporters of three charter schools up for approval awaited the board's decision. On a unanimous vote, Sarasota Academy of the Arts won the board's approval. The oth- er two applicants — The Classical Academy of Sarasota and the Florida Center for Early Childhood Starfish Academy — were voted down. "Being a charter school gives us the oppor- tunity to expose more children to the arts and affords more students in the community a chance to participate in the arts in a small school setting," said Cecilia Blankenship, the new principal of Sarasota Academy of the Arts. Kathryn Shea, president of the Starfish Acad- emy, said, "We respect the decision of the board. The last thing I want to have happen is to start this and fail." Shea said she plans to make changes in the school plans, as recommended by Sarasota County district staff and the board, and apply again next year. Because the district's 10th and newest charter school will be a rebirth, so to speak, of the

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