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New options for failing schools could be available soon

April 5th, 2017 by Mike Vasilinda

Seventy-seven thousand kids in 115 D or F schools across the state could soon have new options. House Budget writers want to spend 200 million dollars on charter schools they are calling ”Schools of Hope.”

As many as 115 schools in 27 counties could soon face new competition. Legislation creating  Schools of Hope” is a plan moving quickly through the legislature. The House Appropriations committee has set aside Two hundred million to allow the schools to step in where school districts have been unable to turn D and F schools into at least C schools. Rep. Manny Diaz is chair of the Pre K-12 Education Budget.

“These are kids trapped in generational poverty” says Diaz.

Democrats on the committee question the rush, and the bills constitutionality. Rep. Kionee McGhee (D-Miami) thinks the legislation will end up in court.

“But it’s just so much with the unintended consequences we may find ourselves dealing with in the near future when this issue finds itself before the Supreme Court of Florida” says McGhee while voting no.

Sponsor Chris Latvala says the idea is to bring in proven out of state charter school operators who have a history of turning around failing schools.

“70% of those students have to be on free ore reduced lunch. 80% percent of those students have to go on to college” says Latvala.

Rep. Bobby Dubose doubts the program can be successful and voted no.

“To me, its like having a house with a leaky roof and you put a brand new door on it. Well, the roof’s still leaking.”

And school districts say if you are going to give charter school companies additional moneys, give it to us first  to try and fix the problem.

Schools of Hope would have to locate within five miles of a failing school. But There is no requirement they take only students from that failing school.

Anchor Tag: School districts currently have three years to turn around a failing school before facing outside management. The Schools of Hope legislation cuts the time table to two years,

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