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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Charter school operators criticize Florida's new capital outlay funding rule

Mark Gotz of the Florida Association of Independent Public Schools questions the rationale behind proposed charter school rules before the State Board of Education on Wednesday.

The Florida Channel

Mark Gotz of the Florida Association of Independent Public Schools questions the rationale behind proposed charter school rules before the State Board of Education on Wednesday.

22

March

Florida charter school operators took issue Wednesday with proposed rules governing their access to state capital outlay funding, a subject of heavy debate almost annually in Tallahassee.

They pointed specifically to a section that would prohibit charter schools from receiving the money if they had earned one F or two consecutive state grades lower than a C.

"Charter schools are public schools and need to be treated equally and equitably," Mark Gotz, an executive board member of the Florida Association of Independent Public Schools, told the Florida Board of Education during discussion on the proposal. "Our public schools that are going to be less than C's aren't going to lose their capital funding, are they? I wouldn't think so."

Gotz suggested the rule would make it impossible for charter schools in low-income neighborhoods where academic success comes less easily to get and maintain funding for their buildings. He and another speaker urged the board to deny or change the recommendation.

Board member Gary Chartrand asked Department of Education staff for the rationale, saying the critics made a good point.

Adam Miller, executive director of the department's choice office, had a simple explanation: "The law requires us to."

He pointed to statute, which states that, in order to be eligible for the funding, charter schools must "have satisfactory student achievement based on state accountability standards applicable to the charter school."

The board unanimously approved the rule.

[Last modified: Wednesday, March 22, 2017 3:25pm]

    

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