By Mike Synan, FOX 35 News
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) – What happens to your tax money when a charter school goes out of business? A Fox 35 investigation reveals the money just simply vanishes and it is costing taxpayers millions in Orange and Seminole County. The number for Orange County alone is $34 million over the past 10 years. Orange School Board Chairman Bill Sublette wants more control.
“It’s very very frustrating because this state is wasting untold tens of millions of dollars on what are really ill conceived experiments.”
He’s not opposed to the concept; he’s worried about an increasing number of charter schools without the tools necessary to succeed even from the start
“We’re not opposed to charter schools in Orange County Public Schools. We have 30 of them and we have some fine ones, but what we have noticed is a flood of charter applicants that have no real education experience, no real financial backing, and no expertise in managing large budgets and we’re talking about large sums of tax payer money going to these charter school operators.”
In Seminole County $24 million was given to charter schools that are no longer in existence. State Senator David Simmons of Altamonte Springs is a big supporter of charter schools for parents to have options.
“We want them to know that they have an excellent opportunity with traditional schools if they want to stay there, but we want to provide them the choice if they want it.”
Charter schools have completely different standards than public schools. For example they can choose how many students to test and can set their own school standards outside of what would be a public school’s grading system. If Bill Sublette knows a charter school is in trouble, not much can be done.
“We’ve also been frustrated that we can’t shut down quickly a failing charter school…. It angers me and it angers the Board when we see tens of millions of dollars, of tax dollars being wasted on charter schools”
Even State Senator David Simmons, a strong proponent now agrees, more must be done to rein in charter schools to keep your tax dollars from just vanishing into thin air.
“I expect them to be accountable just like traditional schools are accountable.”
Charter schools are set to get the most money they’ve ever received from the state in the upcoming budget year.
Read more: http://www.myfoxorlando.com/dpp/news/local/111711-charter-school-money-vanishes#.TtpAQLpjMf4.facebook#ixzz1fVccNS56