Florida: Terminate Public Funds for Charter Schools

Nearly 10 county school boards in Florida recently took collective action to pursue a case against privately-operated-owned charter schools in the Florida Supreme Court.

These public school systems that serve tens of thousands of students oppose the dreaded HB 7069 legislation, which the neoliberal governor of Florida, Rick Scott, signed into law in 2017.

The law does many things, including allowing the transfer of enormous sums of public money from public schools to privately-operated-owned charter schools, thereby leaving public schools in a worse position. Understandably, public school systems want to stop the flow of tens of millions of public dollars to privately-operated-owned charter schools.

As in other states with privately-operated-owned charter schools, Florida’s charter schools are notorious for being non-transparent and rife with corruption. Many also regularly perform poorly. And like many other non-profit and for-profit charter schools across the country, Florida’s charter schools under-enroll different types of students and intensify segregation. Public schools in Florida serve considerably more poor students, English Language Learners, and students with disabilities than privately-operated-owned charter schools.

Florida passed its charter school law in 1996. Currently, about 290,000 students are enrolled in more than 650 privately-operated-owned charter schools.

Shawgi Tell is author of the book Charter School Report Card. He can be reached at stell5@naz.edu.. Read other articles by Shawgi.