HB 7029 School Choice passed the House and is now being considered by the Senate. Late on Friday night, Sen. Don Gaetz filed a strike-all amendment with good language that sets standards for charter schools. This language also bans charter schools from receiving capital funds for private enrichment. This one quote taken directly from the bill encapsulates the most reasonable position on charter school funding:
“It is the intent of the Legislature that the public interest be protected by prohibiting personal financial enrichment by owners, operators, managers, and other affiliated parties of charter schools.”
The language puts in place guidelines for charter schools receiving funding, including mandating that the charter school is owned and leased at a fair market value. The language provides additional funding to schools in which at least 75% of the population is eligible for free or reduced lunch, or at least 25% of the population has a disability.
This language has been added by Sen. Gaetz to another bill that deals with charter schools, HB 7043.