News


Stop charter schools from profiting off taxpayers? Nope, deal kills proposed ban.

The Legislature is set to vote on HB 7069, a massive and controversial conforming bill that aims to starve public schools, hurt communities across the state and undermine kids’ chance at success. A new report from the Miami Herald/Tampa Bay Times shines light on a key component of the bill (since the legislature refuses to) and the fact that it guarantees profits to companies via our tax dollars.

Key Points:

  • “Lawmakers were on track this spring to enact long-sought safeguards to stop businesses from turning a profit off public money intended for charter school capital projects. But for the second year in a row, that proposal abruptly vanished and was left out of a late-session compromise House and Senate leaders struck in private.”
  • “However, when the crackdown on charter operators’ personal enrichment gained steam in the 2016 session, it was in direct response to the actions and performance of failed charters. An Associated Press analysis in December 2015 found that, since 2000, the state had lost $70 million in capital funding given to charter schools that later closed, and the state often couldn’t recoup any dollars. Corcoran’s office did not respond to a follow-up question referencing the AP’s findings.”
  • “For many years, the House, in particular, has been friendly to charter schools, as several of its Republican members are school-choice proponents. Some lawmakers in the House and Senate also have personal ties to charter schools or companies affiliated with them, particularly Academica — a for-profit company that manages the most charter schools in the state, including many in South Florida.”

Read more here.