Progressive Hillsborough School Board Shuts Down Minority Charter Schools

Progressive Hillsborough School Board Shuts Down Minority Charter Schools

Was the decision solely based on money?

Javier Manjarres
Javier Manjarres
June 28, 2021

The Progressive Hillsborough County School Board had drawn the proverbial Crayola line in the schoolyard against Department of Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran and are expected to stand by their decision to deny the contract renewals of four public charter schools and the application refusal of two others.

The refusal to extend the contracts of these four charter schools will leave 2000+ predominantly Black and Hispanic children locked out of class.

The decision was met with a swift rebuke by Commissioner Corcoran, who threatened the board in a letter, stating that if they did not comply with his request to renew the contracts and/or qualify their decision for denial, he would withhold state funding for the school district.

Corcoran stated that because the board had “failed to provide the required notice”  to these schools and because it lacked any “basis to initiate an emergency termination” legal action could be imminent if they did not furnish to him “documentation” of the contract renewal of the four charters schools and provide him with “every factual and legal justification “that the school board has to support their actions for not renewing the contracts.

Chairman Lynn Grey, scoffed at the letter she received, and could not comment any further on the matter because the letter was being reviewed by the legal department.

Corcoran is Republican, and while he swung the gavel as Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives, Corcoran championed parental school choice, scoffed at Common Core education standards, and supporter public Charter Schools.

But it’s not just Corcoran who believes that the school board overstepped.

A recent editorial penned by the liberally-leaning Tampa Bay Times Editorial board excoriated the board’s decision, stating that “the School Board was acting in its own interests, not those of students and parents.”

The Progressives

Three of the school board members —Nadia Combs, Karen Perez, and Jessica Vaughn— are all outspoken registered Progressive Democrats who appear to have injected their ideology into their decision, even as they all have qualified their decision to deny the contract renewals on budgetary reasons.

“Absolutely! For every single charter school that opens, that takes away $7,600 away from our general fund budget,” stated Vaughn.” If you look at our budget last year, $250,000,000 by-passed our budget to go to charter schools.”

Saying that the denials were based on fiscal matters makes sense considering how underwater the school district is. The School Board is in such a dire financial position that they brought in outside help to help them navigate their cash problems.

Mrs. Vaughn is arguably the most ideologically driven of the three.

During her run for the school board position she currently holds, Vaughn thanked the Democratic Progressive Caucus of Tampa Bay for endorsing her candidacy, stating,” I won’t let you down.”

Considering that the Progressive movement is for the most part anti-charter schools, it appears as if Vaughn and the progressive Hillsborough school board are not letting them down by voting against these public charter schools.

The school board has until 5 pm on June 29 to respond to Corcoran’s requests.

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Javier Manjarres

Javier Manjarres

Javier Manjarres is a nationally renowned award-winning political journalist and Publisher of,,, and He enjoys traveling, playing soccer, mixed martial arts, weight-lifting, swimming, and biking. Javier is also a political consultant and has also authored "BROWN PEOPLE," which is a book about Hispanic Politics. Follow on Twitter: @JavManjarres Email him at

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