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The Year of the Charter School

     It's been a good year for supporters of alternative education in Florida. The Legislature passed bills to expand and strengthen charter schools and virtual classes online.

    Charter schools are also soaking up millions in state funds that aren't being given to traditional public schools this year. WLRN Miami Herald reporter Gina Jordan tells us school districts are getting no money for repairs or construction.

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Comments

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Paul D. Harvill

Idiots "managing" our state.......

Unfortuately,

So unfortuately.

native Floridian

Is there a list or database that shows how much each charter school gets?

Amy

The amount of funding that public charter schools receive is the same fixed per pupil amount that traditional public schools receive, except that charter schools receive 5% LESS, which goes to the school district for administrative costs. Charter schools in Miami-Dade do not receive ANY of the $2 mil funds that support building and repairs of traditional public schools. They have to spend their operating funds for their facilities. After three years of operation, charter schools are eligible to receive "capital outlay" funds for certain capital costs. One thing that people don't realize is that charter schools serve the same public school students as traditional public schools, so it's not like the funding is being taken away from the students. They just offer families a choice. No one is forced to enroll in a charter school. Parents can take their children out if they don't like the school. Many charter schools are doing an incredible job with students who were not doing well in regular public schools. Miami-Dade has some of the highest performing charter schools in the state but you don't often hear about them. A list of all charter schools and their school grades is available at www.fldoe.org. Also read www.floridacharterschools.org for more info.

Amy

The amount of funding that public charter schools receive is the same fixed per pupil amount that traditional public schools receive, except that charter schools receive 5% LESS, which goes to the school district for administrative costs. Charter schools in Miami-Dade do not receive ANY of the $2 mil funds that support building and repairs of traditional public schools. They have to spend their operating funds for their facilities. After three years of operation, charter schools are eligible to receive "capital outlay" funds for certain capital costs. One thing that people don't realize is that charter schools serve the same public school students as traditional public schools, so it's not like the funding is being taken away from the students. They just offer families a choice. No one is forced to enroll in a charter school. Parents can take their children out if they don't like the school. Many charter schools are doing an incredible job with students who were not doing well in regular public schools. Miami-Dade has some of the highest performing charter schools in the state but you don't often hear about them. A list of all charter schools and their school grades is available at www.fldoe.org. Also read www.floridacharterschools.org for more info.

Susan

Thank you, Amy, for posting your response. To have a blog/article like this give the impression that charter schools are what's hindering traditional schools' lack of success is just plain wrong. The sense of entitlement, disregard of financial restraint, and lack of ownership for teachers are just a few things that may be their stumbling blocks; charter schools' funds are not - after all, when a student leaves a public school to attend a charter school (which is also a public option), the district actually makes out. The district gives the charter school less money for that child, and the balance remains with the district.

Whether you call it economic sustainability, financial regulations, or a balanced budget, it's simply something that traditional public schools are unfamiliar with and something that charter schools fight to accomplish daily. Charter schools have significantly less funding and more district red tape, and yet most charter schools are in business because parents consistently choose them over the public counterpart. If the state were to favor charter schools (from what I've seen, it's not a common occurrence), it would certainly be understandable: we need less money, we have more accountability, and we are more sustainable (think about the long-term with regards to public school pensions, etc. - that simply won't equal out over the next 20-30 years, and my bet is you'll see something similar to what is happening in the auto/union industry.)

Obviously I'm a charter proponent, but at the end of the day nearly all schools work hard to educate our children. Some simply do it with less resources than others.

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