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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Charter school bill passes House committee without taking district funding



A bill to modify Florida's charter school rules went through yet another House committee without language forcing school districts to share their capital projects funds with charter schools.

Bill sponsor Rep. Janet Adkins withdrew her proposed amendment, which would have had districts dedicate "stipends" to charters, without discussion or a vote. No other committee members put forth alternate funding language, leaving the House bill starkly different than the Senate version in this regard.

Linda Kobert of Fund Education Now praised Adkins for pulling the amendment. "I hope you will protect that as this goes forward," she said. Maybe, maybe not, the Buzz reports.

Committee Democrats had been poised to support the legislation. But they balked at last-minute procedural maneuvering that they said was designed to stifle debate, so they largely instead voted against the bill. The only Democrat to back the measure was Rep. Marty Kiar of Davie.

The committee also agreed to legislation that would increase the cap of the state's corporate tax credit scholarship program while also opening the door for the private schools accepting those vouchers to voluntarily use the FCAT. The panel rejected an amendment by Rep. Dwight Bullard, D-Miami, that would have allowed corporations to also get tax credits for donating funds to the traditional public schools.

[Last modified: Tuesday, February 28, 2012 6:34am]


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