Putting Education Reform To The Test

Charter School Applicants Could Have To Disclose Ties To Other Schools

Florida International Academy charter school students in Opa Locka, Florida.

Joe Raedle / Getty News Images

Gov. Rick Scott visits with Florida International Academy charter school students in Opa Locka, Florida in 2011. The school closed last year because of poor academic performance.

The State Board of Education will consider changing the state’s standard contract for charter schools to require applicants to report affiliations with other charter schools. Charter school applicants would also have to report the academic and financial performance of those schools.

The proposal is a response to the rate of charter school closures across the state. A South Florida Sun-Sentinel series tracked the issue in Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties, finding more than 50 charter schools had closed in the past five year. Overall, nearly one in three Florida charter schools has closed since 1998.

Some schools closed owing school districts hundreds of thousands of dollars.

In some cases, operators had been forced to close a school previously. School districts have complained that it is difficult to track past charter school failures. Charter school advocates have supported more scrutiny, arguing bad operators also damage the reputation of well-run charter schools.

The board meets in Tampa on Wednesday. They’ll also discuss changes to how the state approves online education firms and start work on next year’s budget request.


About StateImpact

StateImpact seeks to inform and engage local communities with broadcast and online news focused on how state government decisions affect your lives.
Learn More »