by Carol Clark Hentschel, Broward County
Maybe not everything is decided by how much money is thrown at a problem. Maybe some people tell it like it is. This has happened in Broward County, Florida. Common sense ruled. Find out why Broward’s school board said no to over three million dollars. Here is a post from LWV Broward.
The Broward School Board overwhelmingly rejected a $3.3 million state grant in early March 2015 to recruit successful charter school companies to save their failing counterparts in the district. Board members insisted it was the state’s responsibility to tighten the charter school laws that allowed floundering charters and continue to operate in the first place. “I’m not in the business of going about cleaning up low performing charter schools that take our money, that purchase things they shouldn’t be purchasing”, said board member Robin Bartleman. “The state needs to clean up the mess they created by not regulating them”.
John Runcie, Broward Superintendent, voiced opposition to HB 7037 which would require school districts to share their capitol improvement dollars with charter schools. They say timing is everything, perhaps this is the time for the Board and Superintendent to: Require the Florida State Department of Education to conduct an annual assessment of the cumulative impact of charter schools on traditional school districts. This assessment should review the flow of funding between charter and district, student enrollment trends, and educational outcomes. The results should be widely available to the public through the state department of education’s website.
Our LWV education committee chair in Palm Beach will be talking with our new School Board Superintendent, Robert Avossa during seven public meetings scheduled in the next few weeks. I intend to ask:
1. Can charter school authorizers prepare an impact statement before approving any new charter school applications? The statement should assess the school’s impact and identity the role that the charter intends to fill within the overall system.
2. How much tax money each charter receives each school year?
3. How much was spent on for-profit contracts with firms connected to charter school executives?