Florida Democrats aren’t easing up on their criticism of House Republicans’ “schools of hope” plan to spend $200 million on attracting new charter schools to Florida that would serve students who currently attend perpetually failing traditional schools.
Democrats say the Republican proposal short-changes struggling neighborhood schools, which have tried to improve but are hamstrung by limitations — imposed by the Legislature — that charter schools don’t face.
“We’re creating a segregated system that will not fix the issue but will create deeper issues — pitting charter schools against our traditional public school system,” said Broward County Rep. Shevrin Jones, the top Democrat on the House Education Committee.
Charter schools are publicly funded but privately managed public schools.
A few hours before the “schools of hope” legislation would be taken up on the House floor later Wednesday, Jones — joined by Democratic gubernatorial candidate and current Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum — convened a press conference to reiterate Democrats’ concerns with HB 5105.