An Unbiased View of the Flagler County School District

By: Palm Coast Report

Despite the periodic rants of local bloggers about why things are wrong, we should pause, consider the source, and examine whether there is an alternative view of things. The District was sick, but since the 2022 election, it is on the mend. For years, the District may have been concealing its issues while assuring the community that ‘everything is fine’, and we are focused on the challenges.” However, there are ample facts to suggest that the District may have been sick, ailing, and in need for a new treatment to get healthy.

Fact 1:   Declining School Grades:  Based on the Florida Department of Education, the schools in Flagler County have struggled. In fact, in 2008 the District had 9 “A” Schools and no “C” schools. In 2014, the District had 6 “A” schools and 2 “C” schools. Now in 2022, we only have 3 “A” schools and 4 “C” schools. In fact, the District has not had more than 3 ‘A” schools since 2015. (See, the chart below)**

Fact 2:   Declining Performance Standards:  According the Florida State Chamber which tracks all school districts ( ), Flagler is sick. By way of example: (i)  only 57% of 3rd graders in Flagler read at level and that is declining, (ii) child poverty is on the rise, (iii) only 50% of our 8th graders read at level,  and (iv) the District’s graduation rate is declining. Compared to the St. John’s County School District, the data shows the Flagler School District is way behind.

Fact 3:   Systemic loss of Principals:   Resignation, Retirement, or Constructive Discharge; whichever word is used, the District has had 28 different principals in the past 5 years, over 9 schools. Stable leadership in schools much like any business is critical. Without it, each school is in constant flux until that new leader has a chance to develop a culture.

Fact 4:   Conflicted Board Members: Politics is how Florida elects its school board members – like it or not. Regardless of party or ideology, the District’s Board members have the right to debate, criticize and assert their positions. But, at the end of the day, a simple majority of the Board makes the final decision. It appears that the community spoke during the last election and elected three new members- essentially a new Board. If you review the Board’s performance over the past few months, maybe it’s giving the community what it wanted – moderation. It appears that Sally Hunt, the Democrat, is working with the new Republicans being Furry and Chong. The only ones who don’t like this collaboration are those who want the status quo.

Recognizing that some may dispute or claim these facts are out of context – they are facts. It is true, that performance standards are not the sole data point to measure the health or success of the District, but ignoring them and saying “yeah, but” is not reflective of reality.

In conclusion, if our community wants a top school district, the community cannot fall prey to ideologues whose beliefs, morals and visions are not consistent with the residents. The community cannot fall prey to a rant, the eloquent use of words or attacks upon those who don’t share the same views. The community must learn to follow the facts, listen to all opinions, and make the hard decisions like it did when it elected three new Flagler County School District members to lead it back to excellence.

Let’s not focus on the sound bites, or drama of a few bloggers intending to further their agenda.  It’s nothing more than a distraction from curing the sickness. Let’s support the new leadership and focus on the facts so that the Flagler County School District can become an “A” school district again.