The report notes that many state officials with power over charter schools also have vested interests in charters, including lawmakers Rep. Erik Fresen and Sen. John Legg. These political leaders have acknowledged their ties, but argued they have no legal conflict of interest.
The League also suggests that some charters run by for-profit management firms screen students and then drop those who are not successful. Leaders of the McKeel charter schools in Lakeland told the Ledger in 2010 that they could dismiss students who did not meet academic requirements.
"Charter schools could fill a niche in Florida’s educational spectrum, but for many, their biggest contribution may be to corporate bottom lines," League president Deirdre Macnab said in a news release.
The group recommends actions such as limiting charter schools to fill unmet needs in local districts -- primarily focusing on low-income families, and creating stronger local oversight of charters.
Rebuttals to the League of Women Voters report have not yet begun. They probably will soon. Read the full report here.