Miami-Dade Superintendant Carvalho estimated that sharing local capital outlay money with charters would cost the district $83 million. In the Miami Herald, Carvalho was quoted: “Now the school boards would basically increase taxes to subsidize what is, more or less, privately owned real estate.”
Senator Simmons bill SB 376 includes this requirement, but there is no provision to restore cuts in local millage that have hamstrung districts’ facility maintenance projects. Simmons was reported to say that his bill is unlikely to pass without this restoration. Let your feelings be known to your local legislators. The bill hits all districts hard.
Given that in Miami-Dade and other districts much of the facility funding goes to pay off bond issues etc., Carvalho lists some serious consequences if the bill were to pass:
- Districts could be bankrupted.
- Credit ratings would drop.
- Facility maintenance projects would stop.
An important example of a charter school ‘done the right way’ is the downtown Doral charter which is a public/private partnership, said Carvalho. The school is privately controlled and financed, but publically managed by the Miami-Dade school board.
“It’s an asset that is owned by the Board, owned by the people” even with the private investment, Carvalho said.
Privately owned and managed charter schools are a bugaboo of the charter system. Everyone loses except the real estate companies.