Putting Education Reform To The Test

Florida Charter Group Has Short Legislative Wish List

Florida House of Representatives

Republican Rep. Janet Adkins has introduced a bill intended to equalize funding for charter and district school students.

A new charter school advocacy group has just one item on their Legislative agenda come January — Equal funding for charter schools students.

The group, the Florida Charter School Alliance, said a 2010 Ball State University survey showed Florida charter schools receive $2,749 less, on average, per student than district schools.

That 25.1 percent gap put Florida among states with a “severe” difference in funding charter and district schools Most of that Most of the difference comes from the roughly $2,000 additional dollars district schools receive in local tax dollars.

So the group is getting behind HB 903, sponsored by Fernandina Beach Republican Rep. Janet Adkins. Adkins sits on a number of education committees, and is vice-chairman of the PreK-12 Appropriations subcommittee.

The bill would ensure that all state money, capital funds and local taxes were doled out on a per capita basis for both district and charter students.

“We all know that every student in Florida deserves access to a high-quality school, regardless of race, income level or geographic location,” said group president Cheri Shannon in a press release. “Charter public schools educate 10 percent of Florida’s students, and as that number continues to grow, we must alleviate the funding inequity that currently exists.  I am confident that lawmakers are equally committed to fostering equity for all public schools students.”

The Florida Charter School Alliance formed earlier this year. An existing group, the Florida Consortium of Public Charter Schools, also advocates for the publicly funded, but privately run schools.


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