charter schools

This week we’re talking with local lawmakers about this year’s legislative session.

Broward County schools will soon launch a challenge to a new state education law that steers more local dollars to charter schools and  the head of the state teachers union believe more lawsuits will soon follow.

Florida’s public school districts will now have to share a portion of their locally-generated maintenance dollars with charter schools. The plan is part of a massive education budget bill.

Sarah Mueller

The Florida House will vote this week to establish what members call “schools of hope.” Democratic lawmakers say Republicans want to spend more than a billion dollars over several years on charter schools while starving public schools of funding. But Republican lawmakers and charter advocates argue public schools are failing to educate students.

Florida has more than 100 schools that it labels persistently failing. Those schools have earned D’s and F’s for several years in a row. Many of them suffer from high poverty and high teacher turnover. The issues facing parents, teachers, and students in such schools are complex. Now a House panel has unveiled a plan that would change the way the state deals with such situations.

Marianne Arbulu's Twitter page / Twitter

Full Story: The Jefferson County School system will be the state’s first charter district at the start of the next school year. The district's board approved the move Thursday, after state officials said any other plan is unlikely to be approved by the state board of education.

Thomas Favre-Bulle / flickr.com/ https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/

President Donald Trump’s pick to head the Department of Education is a conservative fundraiser and vocal critic of traditional public schools. While Betsy DeVos’ nomination could mean drastic change for some states, she has already made her mark on Florida’s education system.

Possible Creation of Woodville K-8 School

Jun 22, 2016
Woodville Middle School

The Leon County School Board is reviewing a proposal made by the Woodville Middle School Board of Directors.The board wants to merge their school with Woodville Elementary.

Sean Lamb / Flickr

A massive education bill covering everything from a teacher bonus program to school construction is rolling out of the Senate Appropriations Committee. It’s getting to the point in the legislative session when trains start to leave the station.

The Florida House has approved several education bills changing everything from the way students can transfer to how how quickly they can advance in school. But some of those proposals face opposition in the Senate when they get there.

Illinois Network of Charter Schools

A massive charter school bill is rolling steadily through the legislature. The measure would create a network of charters and expand online learning. And Democrats are starting to double down on their criticism of state education policy.

https://education.wm.edu/centers/hope/resources/highered/index.php / education.wm.edu

Supporters of the state’s corporate tax scholarship program will gather at the Capitol. They’ve pushed the state teachers union to drop its lawsuit against the program that gives scholarships to low income kids to attend private school. Florida has become one of the nation’s hot spots for school choice programs. While many ideas may have originated in other states, Florida has adopted them and created a massive alternative system.

House Choice & Innovation Committee / Florida Department of Education

A massive charter school bill is getting revived ahead of the 2016 lawmaking session. The plan would standardize charter school applications across the state, and change the way such schools are terminated, expanded, approved, or denied.

U.S. Department of Education Via Flikr / WFSU News

Despite a 20-year history Florida charter schools continue to be a sore subject. The schools continue to be plagued by high-profile failures, and ongoing fights between charters and traditional schools over funding.  It’s a similar story in Georgia, where state education officials say new changes in rules could result in more charter closures.

Florida’s charter schools are pushing for a dedicated construction funding source. The state now has nearly 700 charters across the state, but  a major charter school proponent says the schools are struggling to sustain themselves.

Didier Lahousse / flickr/creative commons

 Update: 4/24/15: The bill has passed the House and awaits a final vote in the Senate. 

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The trains have started rolling in the House with several technical maneuvers creating massive new bills.  One of the so-called train bills combines a popular plan dubbed, “public school choice” with several other measures aimed at charter schools.

peoriapublicradio.org

Some Florida lawmakers are questioning whether the billions of dollars proposed for education actually constitute a record spending figure. They’re also questioning other parts of the spending plans.

Illinois Network of Charter Schools

A bill presented to the House Education Committee today strengthens the standards for Florida’s charter schools. The bill aims at solving a lot of problems in one swoop.