JACKSONVILLE, Fla — First Coast News has talked about their vision, but it is finally happening. A new charter school is launching their first of two locations in Jacksonville to open this upcoming school year.
A chain link fence is blocking off the construction zone off University Boulevard. Mayor Lenny Curry will be at the site at 9 a.m. on April 27 for a groundbreaking ceremony.
IDEA Schools is a charter school, but it runs somewhat like a public school. They’re free.
The first round of students was chosen by a lottery system in February. They’ll have just 500 students in K through 2nd and sixth grade in the first year and eventually expand to K-12 by 2028.
The big stat IDEA Schools boast is their students have a 100 percent college acceptance rate.
This location is next to Jacksonville University in Arlington, a neighborhood with a high crime rate which is something an IDEA spokesperson talked to First Coast News about it in July 2021.
“An excellent education should not be determined by a zip code," Executive Director for IDEA Schools Jose De Leon said. "We definitely believe that coming to this area is going to open up doors that have not been available to families and students in the past.”
Their other location on Bassett Road will also open in fall with 500 students.
Taxpayers in Duval know that there is a proposed tax hike in order for Duval County Public Schools to get more funding to fill and pay for hundreds of teacher vacancies.
So how will teachers be hired for these schools?
IDEA Schools are funded through the Schools of Hope legislation and other state funding similar to public school funding. Their teachers are hired a year ahead of time to be ready when the schools open for the first time.
Duval County Public School Board Chairman Darryl Willie says IDEA will also receive a percentage of county funding as well.
Although the lottery pick has already happened, you can still enroll your child here.