HUR 759 would allow the Department of Education to establish a statewide system for approving charter schools. Currently, school districts authorize charter schools and the State Board of Education can over rule school board decisions.
Diaz, a strong charter school advocate, is chair of the House Choice and Innovation subcommittee. An earlier report by WFSU stated that Representative Diaz would file a bill to standardize charter school applications and change how they were approved, expanded, or terminated. Evidently, he decided to change the constitution instead.
The Florida legislature can place an amendment on the ballot through a joint resolution which must receive 3/5 of the vote in the legislature. The amendment then must be approved by 60% of the voters.
Some states have different entities which authorize charter schools such as universities, State Boards of Education, municipalities, and non profit organizations. Those who oppose the loss of local district control cite examples where multiple authorizers can lead to differences in the standards applied and charter ‘shopping’ as well as other problems.
This current approach to wresting control from district school boards is a continuation of similar attempts in previous years.