Should local property tax increases for schools be made available to Charter Schools?
Bottom Line: We’ve got a new bill that’s a late addition to the state session but it’s one that would impact South Florida’s schools and the use of your tax money as well. A bill filed yesterday would require all school districts which passed tax increases for education purposes to share the increase in revenue with charter schools within their geography. This hot button issue has come to a head as animus by the traditional education establishments towards charter schools has manifested itself in numerous ways over the past couple of years. Nowhere has this been more apparent than in Palm Beach County.
Last year Palm Beach County specifically crafted language in its proposed tax increase to attempt to exclude charter schools from receiving proceeds. They then used the school district resources, teachers and students to promote the passage of the increase. Additionally, the school district initially refused to provide school officer resources to charter schools as mandated by the Marjory Stoneman Douglas School Safety Act. After multiple charter’s sued PBC, a judge found in their favor that it was the responsibility of the school district and superintendent to provide those resources. Multiple charter schools have also sued the Palm Beach County School District over the refusal to share tax increase revenue with them. The issue applies to at least a dozen counties in Florida, including potentially all of South Florida – so now the state legislature will weigh whether to pass a law that would remove the need for charters to have to seek legal solutions from hostile local governments.
I’ll keep you posted as to the progress...