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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Florida Board of Education to consider new charter school capital outlay rules



It's three months after Florida lawmakers adopted the 160-page education omnibus bill, and the Florida Board of Education is preparing to weigh in on how some of the key regulations will look.

When the board meets next week, it will take up a modified rule detailing how charter schools may qualify for construction and capital funds. In it are some potentially controversial items, such as allowing charters that have been open two years, rather than the previous three, to qualify for the money.

The rule also would codify that charter schools earning an F, or two consecutive D's, in state grading would not be eligible for the funds.  Schools in the state's school improvement rating system, as opposed to the grading system, would not be eligible if they get an "unsatisfactory" mark. In the past, only F schools were barred from getting capital funds.

Charter schools with higher percentages of low-income students, as identified by receiving free or reduced price lunches, and also with higher percentages of students with disabilities, would get a higher weighting for the state money.

Many other proposed revisions to charter school capital outlay did not make it into law, after furious debate that saw this issue become one of the final matters to be settled in the 2016 legislative session. The topic has been widely discussed in social media circles, but it's not likely to generate much conversation at the state board meeting. It is expected to come up again in the 2017 session.

The board is scheduled to meet two days (June 21-22) at Palm Beach State College. Its full agenda has not been published yet.

[Last modified: Tuesday, June 14, 2016 11:41am]


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