Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Florida Charters Want More Money

Though marketed on the premise that they can operate (and perform better) for less money than traditional public schools, charter schools in Florida are asking for more money. Here's an excerpt from a posting on the Orlando Sentinel's School Zone Blog:

A Legislature-created task force has begun chewing over a proposal that aims to provide construction money to Florida’s charter schools — but looks likely to also generate lots of controversy.
The proposal — presented to the task force by the Florida Department of Education today — would allow local school districts to levy additional local property taxes for charter schools.
The task force was created by the Florida Legislature amid concerns from charter-school advocates that those independent but publicly financed schools have struggled with funding for facilities and other capital projects.
Last year, some lawmakers pushed a bill that would have forced districts to share property tax money with charter schools. The bill failed, and lawmakers then created the task force to study the issue.
While public schools are struggling to keep up with operation and construction costs, they now face the threat of charter schools usurping their limited funding. What if this was the plan all along? Charter schools come to town marketing themselves as a cheap and better alternative to traditional public schools. Once they have a formidable footing, they raise their prices and lobby the state for additional funding. Or perhaps, they are realizing that education is a little more expensive than they imagined. 

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