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Final Low-Performing Schools Selected to Receive Schools of Hope Funding

January 17th, 2018 by Jake Stofan
The State Board of Education approved the rules for rolling out last year’s controversial “Schools of Hope” legislation.
The rules lay out how charter schools can apply for a piece of the $200 million in state funds allocated to the program.
The law allows charters to open within a five mile radius of low performing schools, in hopes they can turn around student achievement.
The legislation was sponsored by Representative Chris Latvala.
“Previous to our bill being passed there were close to 70,000 students in Florida that were trapped in schools that were persistently failing,” said Latvala.
The bill also allows for 25 of low-performing traditional public schools to receive an additional $2,000 per student to raise performance.
14 schools were approved for the funding at the meeting. 31 had applied.
There are more than 100 consistently low performing public schools in the state. While 25 will receive additional funding, more than 75 will have to do without.
Though the the program is moving forward, 13 school districts have filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the law, even though some of them have applied for the money.
“It’s a little bit of a challenge having to follow current law that they believe is unconstitutional, but they also understand that currently that’s their obligation and responsibility,” said Andrea Messina with the Florida School Boards Association.
School Districts argue the state overstepped its authority by requiring public schools to share tax dollars with the privately owned charters.
This was the second round of selections. The 14 schools chosen were the last of the 25 permitted under the law.

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