The charter school lobby came to Tallahassee this year with an ambitious agenda:
Win a share of school districts’ construction dollars. Create a separate high school sports association. Empower parents to demand charter-school conversions.
But they fell short on almost all counts.
The defeats came as a stinging surprise for the charter movement, which had enjoyed a string of victories in previous legislative sessions. Just last year, state lawmakers gave high-performing charter schools the green light to grow more rapidly — and pay less in administrative fees.
What was different about this year? Was it the slowing of the school choice movement? The peculiar politics of redistricting? The last-minute meltdown in the Senate?
To some extent, it was all of the above.