Florida charter schools take and take and take

From TampaBay.coms Gradebook

by Jeff Solochek

Florida lawmakers are continuing their full-court press to enhance the state’s growing charter school system as they move toward the 2012 legislative session.

Rep. Janet Adkins has proposed a bill that would allow school districts to share their capital projects tax revenue with charter schools, with the arm twisting caveat that if they don’t, “the Florida Education Finance Program allocation for that school district shall be recalculated so that each charter school in the school district receives, on a per-student basis, the same amount of funds that it would have received if the district school board shared the millage levy revenue.”

Sen. David Simmons, meanwhile, has put forth legislation that would create an entire new class of charters called “family charter academies” to add to the public school world. These academies would “provide parents with the opportunity to attend the same school as their children or to better support their children’s education,” among other things.

It’s not like this comes as any surprise.

Last year, the Legislature made it easier for charters to open and expand, while also pumping nearly all of the state’s school construction funds into charters. The FLDOE, meanwhile, quietly joined forces with a venture capital group to direct $30 million toward charter startups. Charter applications skyrocketed statewide.

What more could they do?


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