Are Florida’s Local School Boards Stepping Up to Oppose Standard Charter School Contracts?


Jeff Solochek writes in Gradebook that Pasco County School Board urged its congressional delegation not to move forward on charter school legislation that would create a standardized charter contract:

Board chairwoman Alison Crumbley reminded the delegation that school boards have the constitutional authority to “operate, control and supervise” all the public schools within their districts, and suggested that the proposed legislation would erode local control. In case she missed anything during her remarks, Crumbley also gave the delegation a document listing seven points of concern with the charter bills.

Among those, she noted that a standard contract fails to consider the basic definition of a contract, which is a legal agreement. If the terms are already set forth, neither side can actually agree to anything, the argument goes. She also took issue with the language that would allow a charter school to begin operating before the contract is negotiated and signed.

Pasco’s document is an effective one and can easily be adopted by the state’s school boards. Consider these poignant concerns that Rep. Michael Bileca and Rep. George Moraitis’  bill creates:

· Erodes school board authority to approve charter application

· Forces the sponsor to approve a contract without the ability to negotiate.

· Expands the state’s authority at the local level

The Pasco effort is noteworthy in that both Broward and Palm Beach districts have raised serious concerns about the bill. Public and behind the scenes opposition will be making arguments based on local control – a theme that’s gained traction in the Common Core fight.

Scathing Purple Musings is always skeptical when Florida republican legislators say they are worried about the friction between districts of for-profit charter school. They always express such laments right before guys like Bileca and Moraitis propose bills like this.

About Bob Sikes

A long time ago and a planet far, far away I was an athletic trainer for the New York Mets. I was blessed to be part of the now legendary 1986 World Series Championship. My late father told me that I'd one day be thankful I had that degree in teaching from Florida State University. He was right and I became twice blesses to become a teacher in the late 1990's. After dabbling with writing about the Mets and then politics, I settled on education.
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