Miami lawmaker's ties to charter schools raise questions
State Rep. Erik Fresen, who sits on several education committees in the Florida House, is again raising eyebrows for his family ties to a prominent Miami-Dade charter school company.
Fresen’s sister and brother-in-law run Academica, a for-profit company that manages dozens of charter schools.
Last week, Fresen slipped language into a bill that would prohibit cities from imposing stricter zoning and building restrictions on charter schools than on traditional public schools. Charter schools are publicly funded but privately run.
The provision is aimed in part at South Miami, which recently approved charter school regulations that could directly affect Academica. The company, city Mayor Philip Stoddard said, may be looking to expand Somerset Academy at SoMi, where Fresen’s twin sons go to school. And Academica has expressed interest in building a school in Palmetto Bay.
Fresen scoffed at the idea that he put forth the provision to benefit his family. Full story here.