Long live the Florida Schools of Excellence Commission
Sen. Stephen Wise of Jacksonville has filed a bill that would give the commission, which Gov. Crist let fade away without an appeal, new powers as an agency with the primary purpose of developing remedial charter schools as "an alternative to a public school found by the state to be chronically failing or below average."
One of the FSE's initial sponsors, Rep. John Legg of New Port Richey, told the Gradebook he had heard rumblings about changing the commission's reason for being, though he wasn't privy to the details. He remained noncommital about his support.
"The concept sounds good," said Legg, chairman of the House Pre-K-12 Education Policy Committee. "We've got to work out the details."
Some veteran Legislature watchers sounded jaded about the proposal. They suggested that school districts don't need another state agency to deal with charters, and guessed it had more to do with protecting the financial interests of the commission's status quo. The FSE spent nearly $500,000 in three years without ever seeing a sponsored charter open.