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Manatee schools seeing flat enrollment


BRADENTON - Enrollment at Manatee County's schools isn't moving up by much.

Danny Lundeen, supervisor of student demographics, projections and assignment, told the School Board Monday night that there has been a consistent drop in enrollment in the county's K-12 area in 2006 and 2007.

Total enrollment for 2009 and 2010 is approximately 42,000.

More data on student enrollment trends will be posted on the district's Web site..

The board approved a hearing, at a date to be determined for Peggy A. Hill, the science teacher at Palmetto High School who is appealing a suspension for slapping a student who said a profanity in class.

The board also approved a denial of a charter application for Manatee Charter School (CSUSA). There was a bit of confusion and an initial 2-3 vote in favor of denying the school's charter application returned to a 5-0 vote after board members discussed some of the implications of the vote.

Some said that once denied at the country level, schools wishing to become charters can go to the state level, where they may be approved or denied in Tallahassee.

Robert Gause took a position of caution with the board on this subject.

"I want to be very careful that we don't find ourselves in a position where we are trying to stifle the competition," he said. "Something that the district has a good reputation on is our record to encourage the charter schools."

So a revote was made and the 5-0 vote denied approval of the Manatee Charter School.

Barry Dunn was introduced as the new principal of J.P. Miller Elementary School, replacing Chuck Banks.

"He's been there for a very long, long time and he's got a lot of very loyal people that worked for him for a long time," Dunn said. "I haven't talked to anybody who hasn't said wonderful things about him."

Dunn said he plans to get to know people, establish relationships and trust, and become a part of the Miller community.

Thursday is his first day of at the school and he said he's ready to step into the principal's office and continue the positive trail Banks paved over the years.


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