Florida Considers Mandate For Charter Schools

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 tax money. A bill filed yesterday would require all school districts that passed tax increases for education purposes to share the increase in revenue with charter schools. 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. 

This bill would affect Miami-Dade, Broward, Pinellas and several other districts that have approved property tax increases in the past. 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 Palm Beach County, a judge found in their favor that it was the responsibility of the school district and superintendent to provide those resources. 

Now, let's take a look at Miami-Dade and affect this bell may have on our school district. For starters, let's not forget that in November voters overwhelmingly passed a property tax hike and the teachers union has already made a deal to supplement teacher salaries with some of that money. Miami-Dade Superintendent Alberto Carvalho has mentioned that the rest of that money is meant for school safety and school resources officers at every school. The superintendent has also said that he is open to sharing the funds for safety and security with charter schools.

I’ll keep you posted as to the progress.

Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

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