Q&A of the Day – Florida's proposed mandate for equitable treatment of charter schools
Each day I’ll feature a listener question that’s been submitted by one of these methods.
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Could you review this email and give me your take on the subject? I know you have been fairly critical of the school board and their greed. I cannot decide if this is a good fight or just more greed. I see the point, but it seems to me that all schools should be safer, not just the public ones.
From the Palm Beach County School District:
Members of the Florida House of Representatives passed HB 7123 last night with a vote of 69 to 44 in favor of the bill. The bill still included language that would force Florida school districts to share, retroactively, all referendum funds with charter schools. Unfortunately, no concession was made in HB 7123 before the House passed it to honor the will of the Palm Beach County voters or the ballot language they overwhelmingly approved by over 72% in November 2018.
Please also share this information with your friends and family who feel strongly that Palm Beach County voters should get what they voted for.
Bottom Line:This is all about the Charter school funding topic that I’ve been covering. I know that once HB #’s & SB #’s enter the conversation everything becomes hard to understand but the bottom line is this.
The House passed a bill that mandates charter schools have revenue from the tax increases passed in Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach County counties last year. There’s been an ongoing effort by many in the education establishment to exclude them. In fact, Palm Beach County’s School District has been sued twice within the past year by charter schools over hostile treatment. The school district already lost the first lawsuit as they were attempting to not provide security for charter schools under the Marjory Stoneman Douglas School Safety Act. The second, ongoing, lawsuit is about sharing the tax revenue. If the courts find in favor of the charters, it’d be a moot point and the money would have to be shared – however the lawsuits and legal system wouldn’t be required to decide in those cases if a new state law mandates the rev share.
While the fight hasn’t been as visible or vocal in Broward or Miami-Dade over the rev share for charter schools, every indication thus far has suggested there’s opposition to the law. And this circles around to an important point. In your note you said that you believe all schools should be safer, not just the public ones. This is the irony of irony. Charter schools are public schools. Time and again this is a point that seems to be confused and I can’t help but to think it’s intentional by the education establishment.
I can’t speak for the education establishment’s common opposition to charter schools except to propose a hypothesis for why they do. The education establishments want to have and spend as much money as possible. All you ever hear is that more money is needed for education, blah, blah, blah. It doesn’t matter how much is spent. It doesn’t matter how big the increases are in spending. It’s never enough. While charter schools are public schools, they threaten the bloated status quo of traditional public education.
The average charter school in Florida spends 21% less per student with better average outcomes. An education establishment truly interested in fiscal responsibility and student outcomes would be the ultimate champions of charters – wanting to assist as much as possible. When charters literally have to sue to attempt to even be treated fairly by the education establishment... That tells you about all need to know about who’s best interest they’re operating on behalf of with your money.