School board passes contract with SF College 

School Board member Diyonne McGraw voted to approve the new articulation agreement between the Alachua County Public Schools and Santa Fe College on Tuesday.
School Board member Diyonne McGraw voted to approve the new articulation agreement between the Alachua County Public Schools and Santa Fe College on Tuesday.
Photo by Glory Reitz

The School Board of Alachua County (SBAC) approved a new articulation agreement with Santa Fe College on Tuesday. In the new contract, the school district promises to pay less than it has in past years to receive almost all the same services as before. 

The articulation agreement allows Alachua County Public Schools (ACPS) students to take college courses through a dual enrollment program with SF. The district pays for these courses and the resources which students use at the college. 

This school year’s contract binds the district to pay SF 85% of the Full Time Equivalent (FTE) funding it receives. Last year, ACPS paid 95% of the FTE to maintain “white glove” treatment from the college, but dropping the rate by 10% will save the district almost $150,000 of its tight budget. 

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The articulation agreement previously came before the board in July, and though board members complained they had not had sufficient time to review the contract before voting, they did move to proceed with the 85% rate and all services maintained. 

This week, Board member Sarah Rockwell and Chair Tina Certain reiterated these concerns, complaining that the new contract had not been available until the day of the meeting. 

“What causes me concern is they put those prior year things in there,” Certain said. “We've been waiting on this for all these weeks, I don't see where two more weeks or the next board meeting... would be any detriment so that the board can have sufficient information to evaluate what we will be paying Santa Fe for this.” 

The references to “prior year” in the contract list what benefits will not be renewed this year because of the reduced rate. They include turnaround supplements, teaching supplements and classroom supply allocations, reading instruction, and funding compression. 

Board member Diyonne McGraw, who had previously been concerned about rushing to a decision, said she felt clear about the contract because she had discussed it with the superintendent. Board members Leanetta McNealy and Kay Abbitt both said they felt informed enough to vote. 

Rockwell argued that files should be available in time for the public to review ahead of a meeting, a concern she had voiced at a public hearing for the district budget earlier this month. 

“Part of having backup materials attached to the agenda a week ahead of time is not just so that I can reach out to the superintendent or staff and ask questions,” Rockwell said. “But it's also so that community members can reach out to me with their questions and concerns if they can't make it to the meeting.” 

Rockwell said she will no longer vote in favor of any motion if its supporting materials were not attached to the agenda ahead of time. 

The articulation agreement passed 3-2, with Certain and Rockwell dissenting. 

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Wow , That Rockwell person seems very challenged to do its job and focus on basic education for the students.


Santa Fe College should open an additional charter school for college prep instead of Dual Enrollment and collect all of the FTE and pay the district only their district fee. Then Santa Fe College can make decisions about their program, their students, and still serve the students if Alachua County without dealing with this board.