Florida Legislature: Week 4 wrap-up

Geoff Fox

The House Committee on Appropriations moved forward with a bill that would end the waiting list for families seeking the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship. Here’s a brief recap of that bill and the week’s other education choice news from Tallahassee.

Despite objections from Democratic lawmakers who deemed it unconstitutional, HB 7075 passed in a party-line vote, 16-9. The legislation would create a state-funded program to eliminate a waiting list for families who applied for the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship for lower-income families. (The program is administered by non-profits such as Step Up For Students, which hosts this blog.)

The “Family Empowerment Scholarship” would accommodate about 28,000 students in 2019-20, including some 13,000 students currently on a waiting list for the tax credit scholarship. Read more here.

Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran trumpeted information in an annual charter school performance report that shows charter school students are outperforming students in traditional public schools. Read more about the report here.

The Senate unanimously passed a bill that establishes a competency requirement for charter school educators and operators. SB 1224 requires charter school principals, board members, chief financial officers and others to hold a credential stating they are competent to run a charter school.

The credential would pertain to accountability of student performance, developing and adjusting business plans, accurate financial planning and “good business practices,” among other things.

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