charter schools

AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa

This week on The Florida Roundup...

President Donald Trump embarks on his first overseas trip since taking office visiting Saudi Arabia, Israel and the Vatican before meeting with NATO and the G7. The trip comes as foreign policy talk has been dominated by  scandal surrounding the alleged administration links with Russia.  

Carl Juste / Miami Herald

Gov. Rick Scott faces mounting pressure from school superintendents, teachers unions and parent groups to veto $23.7 billion in base funding to K-12 public schools next year — as well as a controversial $419 million education policy bill, which lawmakers unveiled and passed in the span of just three days at the end of their annual session.

A rejection of the main education funding alone would force lawmakers back to Tallahassee for a special session to redo that part of the budget, which is almost a third of the $82.4 billion in overall state spending approved for 2017-18.

WJXT

The state Senate is considering a $200 million program passed by the House that would speed up the process for closing underperforming public schools and funding charter schools in their place.

We're all familiar with the term "hidden in plain sight." Well, there may be no better way to describe the nation's 6,900 charter schools.

These publicly-funded, privately-run schools have been around since the first one opened in St. Paul, Minn., in 1992. Today, they enroll about 3.1 million students in 43 states, so you'd think Americans should know quite a bit about them by now. But you'd be wrong.

Miami Herald Archive

Representatives for two charter schools that illegally loaned public money to schools outside Miami-Dade County gave their word to the MDCPS School Board Tuesday that they plan to get it back. 

Two Miami-Dade Charter Schools Loaned $900K In Taxpayer Funds To Sister Schools

Dec 5, 2016
Creative Commons

Two Miami-Dade charter schools illegally transferred taxpayer funds by lending a combined $912,094 to sister schools outside the county, the top lawyer for the Florida Department of Education has determined.

Florida's first charter school opened 20 years ago.  Since then, enrollment in these publicly funded, privately run schools has exploded. 

Today, more than 250,000 students attend about 650 charter schools across the state and many of them are returning to school this week.

But the rapid growth has come with more than a few speed bumps.

Screen shot / CREDO

A new study finds students learn less at online charter schools than they do at traditional schools -- and the problem is even worse for Florida students.

New Database Will Track Who Runs Charter Schools

Aug 4, 2015
comedynose / Flickr

Florida school districts will have a new way to track the financial and academic records of charter school operators.

For the first time, a new database is connecting charter schools to who runs them. The goal is to reduce the number of charter schools that close.

The National Association of Charter School Authorizers wants to create a paper trail. The group has launched a database that lists who is operating a school and includes performance data from the website GreatSchools.org.

Of the more than 600 charter schools in Florida. Some focus on the arts, some on sciences. Others are high schools that help students who are at risk for not finishing or dropping out completely.

At the crossroads of  busy four lane highway in Clearwater, students have to make their way through the noise and exhaust of heavy traffic to get to their high school classes.

Tucked in the back of of a strip mall is Enterprise High School. The 5-year-old charter school focuses on just one kind of student, those at risk for not finishing high school at all.

JD Hancock / Flickr

School districts would have to share local school construction and maintenance money with charter schools, according to an amendment filed by an influential state senator.

Sen. Don Gaetz, former Senate president, filed the amendment Tuesday. The amendment would require half of the money raised by an optional local property tax to be split between charter and traditional schools on a per-student basis.

Rocketship Education

Florida charter schools that consistently earn good grades on the state’s public school report card get special privileges.

Soon, out-of-state charter schools could, too.

David Gilkey/NPR

Both the U.S. and Cuba have relaxed travel restrictions so family visits are easier and more money is flowing to the island nation, so what’s next?  

NPR Morning Edition host David Greene joins us after spending a week in Cuba, talking with government officials, entrepreneurs, shopkeepers and fishermen.

About That Charter School Funding Study...

May 21, 2014
Florida House of Representatives

State Senate President Don Gaetz likes to introduce House Speaker Will Weatherford as the “taller, smarter, better-looking version of the Weatherford-Gaetz” duo. Their alliance has led to the quick passage of legislation like last year's ethics reform package and this year's sex offender bills. But on several education bills, the two diverge.

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