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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Florida Senate pushes ahead with testing, charter school regulations



Recent reports of an Orange County charter school that failed academically and paid its administrator more than $500,000 while skimping on educational materials troubled Florida state senators.

Their bill to curb such actions didn't gain traction. But they wanted to make illegal some of the most egregious abuses that might take place within charters. So on Tuesday the Senate Appropriations Committee tacked the charter rules to another bill dealing with school districts' ability to meet the technological requirements of new tests associated with the Common Core standards.

The new bill, which won approval without comment, would forbid the state from implementing the new assessments until all schools and district have the proven capacity to administer the tests.

And now it also would stop charter schools from spending more than $35,000 without its sponsor's approval once the charter is set for non-renewal or closure. It would end a charter agreement immediately upon the school's closure, bar the extension of employee or vendor contracts beyond the term of the charter contract, and not allow charter schools employees or their relatives to serve on the governing boards.

Representatives of one of Florida's two charter school associations supported the measure, which is set to go next to the full Senate. Read the latest version of the bill here.

[Last modified: Tuesday, April 23, 2013 1:12pm]


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