Here we go with the Great Money Heist in Florida.

HB7069 passed both houses of the legislature and will go to Governor Rick Scott for his signature.

In two posts, Sue M. Legg of the League of Women Voters analyzes the devastating impact of this budget bill for public schools. She hopes that Governor Scott will veto the bill. As she explains, money is being shifted to charter organizations and taken away from traditional public schools. Ten percent of the students in the state are enrolled in charter schools, but the needs of the ninety percent are ignored. The bill reduces base student funding, so that it is lower than it was a decade ago.

She writes:

The provisions to require local districts to share capital outlay with charter schools is untenable. It will cost districts already struggling with aging facilities, millions of dollars. The Schools of Hope proposal allocates $140 million for charter school takeovers of low performing public schools.

Creating charter systems that control groups of charters surely must stress the Florida constitutional requirement for a ‘uniform system of high quality schools’. These systems become their own local education agencies. This is a legal term that is now allocated to elected school boards. The systems would be able to receive funding directly with no oversight from districts.

The shift in the allocation of Title I funds for low income students also is adversely affected by the bill. Low performing schools would get the bulk of the money which then would go with Schools of Hope. The implications are far reaching if money is spread too thinly to support extra reading, tutoring and other services many children need.