From Matt Dixon in the Florida Times-Union:
An opinion on charter-school funding by then-Republican Attorney General Charlie Crist is at odds with a portion of the Democratic base whose help he now needs to become the next governor.
Crist’s 2004 advisory opinion was requested by a two-term chairman of the state GOP who has evolved into a charter-school lobbyist. Crist concluded that state law dictates charter schools should be funded “the same as” traditional public schools, which has never been the case.
The biggest disparity is at the local level, where school boards across the state raise billions in taxes annually for construction and maintenance. They are not required to share with charter schools and most don’t. It has been a controversial issue in recent years, with charter-school advocates making failed legislative attempts requiring school districts to share.
Charlie Crist – the then up-and-coming Republican looking to curry favor with a favored constituency is different from the Democrat seeking to be governor again, right?
Crist’s education platform is becoming tortured nuance. Yes, to Common Core. No to SB 736. Testing, yes, but not so much. Yes, to charter schools and vouchers. And, my new personal favorite, “my friend , Jeb Bush.”