Sen. Dwight Bullard, D-Miami, wasn't able to stop the Senate Education Appropriations Subcommittee from moving forward with a proposed Institute for Charter School Innovation.
He couldn't convince them to create an Institute for Public School Innovation, either.
But he was able to remove a provision from the Senate's charter school bill (SB 1552) that would have allowed certain out-of-state operators to be deemed high-performing charter school systems -- and pay smaller administrative fees to their schools districts.
"It seems irresponsible to give out-of-state charter school provides a free pass based on their track records in other states," he said.
His amendment passed 4-2, with the support of Senate Education Committee Chairman John Legg and Senate Rules Committee Chairman David Simmons.
Legg, who helped draft the language about high-performing charter school systems, said the designation was meant to be a "reward for existing charter schools."
"It was not designed to entice charter to come to the state," he said.
The broader bill moved out of the committee by a 5-2 vote.
In addition to creating the charter school institute, SB 1552 allows parents to send their children to any school in the state that has space. Parents would have to pay for transportation.
"This is definitely a parent-driven bill," said Sen. Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland.
The two Democrats on the panel voted against the proposal. Sen. Bill Montford, D-Tallahassee, said senators should consider trying to fund the transportation so families would have more options regardless of their income level.