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.