Gov. Crist sets new rules for Florida charter schools into law
The second time proved a charm for Sen. Don Gaetz's effort to put more controls onto Florida's charter schools (many of which have closed for mismanagement, poor performance, money woes or worse).
This week, Gov. Charlie Crist signed into law SB 278, placing stiffer rules on the management of the schools that run with public funds but outside the full control of the public school system. A year ago, a similar Senate bill ran into static in the House during a tiff over various pieces of education legislation.
The new rules require charter operators to reveal which of their relatives work for the school. It makes charter schools subject to the class-size reduction amendment. It has charters make monthly financial reports to their sponsors, and sets forth clear methods for closing schools that face deteriorating finances.
Sponsors also may close the charters down if they fail to improve academic performance after giving the school warning and a year to take corrective action.
Crist also signed into law a bill that makes students responsible for the full cost of lost school books.
Both rules take effect next week.
- Jeff Solochek