Senator Brandes, representing South Pinellas County, home of the Pinellas ‘Failure Factories’ filed SB 808. The bill will allow municipalities to authorize charter schools. Current law requires municipalities to submit charter proposals to the county school board. This bill would allow cities to create charters without school district approval. It would appear to be another effort to weaken public school districts.
There is a Municipal Charter School Foundation based in West Palm Beach that evidently was founded in 2013. It offers support to cities that wish to open charters. Its financial statement does not show much activity, so it is unclear if this group has had any input into Senator Brandes’ bill.
SB 808 also eliminates the prohibition of a charter school to open more than one high performing charter in a given year.
Neither of these provisions address current problems with inadequate charter school oversight or with the lack of district support for struggling south Pinellas schools. At some point the Legislature will have to focus on real problems and real solutions to inequities. An under funded charter school cannot do miracles, and neither can an ignored, under funded public school.