Florida will start funding charter school facilities based on the characteristics of the students they serve.
And under new rules approved today by the state Board of Education, charters will have to clear a higher academic bar to qualify.
A new state law requires the state to distribute more capital funding to charter schools where at least 25 percent of students have special needs, or at least 75 percent qualify for free- or reduced-price lunch.
The state rule created in response to that law also disqualifies charter schools from receiving state capital funding if they’ve received consecutive D’s under the state accountability system. The previous rule only disqualified charter schools rated F.
At the state board’s meeting in Tampa, that change received pushback from schools that could lose funding as a result.
Right now, more than 400 of the state’s roughly 650 charter schools qualify for a share of $75 million set aside for facilities funding. The state is still updating its numbers to distribute funding under the new rule.
Adam Miller, the director of the state’s school choice office, told the board that preliminary calculations show 142 charter schools could receive extra funding because more than three-quarters of their students are economically disadvantaged. Of those higher-poverty schools, Miller said current projections show seven could lose funding under the stricter academic requirements. Continue Reading →