A task force established by the Florida Legislature last spring is charged with making recommendations for equitable funding of charters and other schools operated by a school district.
The K-12 Public School Facility Task Force met yesterday to discuss facility funding legislation.
Last month, the task force recommended that “the legislature identify a stable and reliable state funding source to adequately fund capital outlay requirements for charter schools, and that adequate provision for the construction and maintenance of traditional schools be made by increasing the maximum discretionary millage a school board may levy for capital purposes to 2.0 mills.”
If a reliable and stable state funding source cannot be identified, the panel recommends a half mill property tax increase. The money would go to both traditional and charter schools.
Finding from this week’s task force meeting:
- Support capital outlay funding for all public schools based on the demonstrated need for student stations.
- The state must continue to provide funding for capital needs for all public schools, including charter schools, as it has historically done. In addition, the state has historically funded and must continue funding the capital outlay needs of laboratory schools.
- Support additional funding sources that are allocated to meet capital needs of all public schools, such as internet sales tax, taxation of internet cafes, and elimination of sales tax exemptions.
- Support a modification of or enhancement to PECO (Public Education Capital Outlay) to fund the capital outlay needs of all public schools.
- Recommend that any additional revenue appropriated to meet capital outlay needs of all public schools must not be supplanted by a reduction in funding elsewhere.
- Recommend that existing agreements adopted by school board to limit tax rate increases due to the passage of sales tax initiatives or special facilities program requirements must be honored.
- Recommend that the Department of Education conduct a comprehensive review of SREF (State Requirements for Education Facilities) and develop recommendations that reduce costs to the taxpayer for construction and maintenance and repair of public schools, while maintaining health and safety requirements.
- Recommend that the Department of Education, in conjunction with the Department of Management Services, review the procurement and competitive bidding requirements and develop recommendations for streamlining construction and maintenance and repair projects.