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Newberry charter school vote leads to confusion

Though the state has ruled the teachers’ vote to convert Newberry Elementary School into a charter school successful, confusion has risen with some disputing that verdict.

In an email from the Department of Education Senior Chancellor Adam Miller to Newberry Mayor Jordan Marlowe on Sunday, the department ruled the conversion vote successful.

The department's email to Marlowe stated that the vote must show at least 50% of teachers in favor of converting the school. The vote’s results were 22 to 21 in favor of conversion.

However, Save Our Schools Newberry, a group that opposes the change, counted the vote as a win against conversion.

They cite a Monday press release in which Alachua County Public Schools spokesperson Jackie Johnson said the district is required to follow a State Board of Education rule that requires a majority of 50% plus one additional vote.

Johnson maintains the vote did not rule in favor of conversion, saying, “We have not received any communication from the Florida Department of Education about this. We don’t have any information that leads us to believe that we should be overturning the results of this election.”

Despite the objections of Save Our Schools and the school board, Marlowe said, “We now know from the Department of Education that they will support the statute reading of it’s a 50% mark. So, that application is going to move forward.“

With the application moving forward, Marlowe says Newberry could see the elementary school converted by the 2025 to 2026 term.

Sofia is a reporter for WUFT News who can be reached by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing