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Friday, June 26, 2015

One in eight Florida charter schools in Financial Trouble

From the Tampa Times: A recently released state audit shows that 76 of 615 Florida charter schools ended 2013-14 with a financial deficit, while 31 charters had material weaknesses with their internal financial controls.

Florida's charter schools were sold as saviors. Over 280 have failed and now another 76 are teetering financially and if that's saving us then please stop.  

In a related story the state made it easier for district's to ask about potential charters financials and past failures. Um charters have been around for 17 years now, and now we think it's a good time to start asking those questions? Wasn't the first hundred failures enough? 

Again from the Tampa Times: The rule will make the process easier for school districts, which sometimes can miss background information when they review applications.

Recent reports by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and other media have uncovered charter schools run by people or organizations that shut down, sometimes mid year, and then resurfaced seeking to open another.
Nearly 300 charter schools in Florida have closed their doors because of financial, management or academic problems since they first were permitted in the 1990s. At the same time, the number of charters has grown. The Florida Department of Education listed 646 of them at the beginning of the 2014-15 school year. Six of those are no longer active.

Instead of stacking the deck for these (as a group) failures isn't it time we said enough and invested in our public schools instead? I mean with the record charter schools have what do we really have to lose? 

To look at the audit click the link:

1 comment:

  1. Call me cynical, but I bet this report will surface next March as the legislature moves to divert more dollars to these schools because "they need it". We'll probably get a fairness argument that charters should receive the same FTE per student that traditional public schools receive.

    "School choice" is here to stay. It is popular with the public and parents. Those of us who believe that most of these choices are worse than the neighborhood public school need to adjust our strategy. We fight on the fairness issue. Schools that receive public tax dollars should be subject to the same accountability as traditional public schools; their students should take the same assessments and they should receive a state grade. Then, we go after the financial issue. Independent audits of all schools by certified public accountants and release of results each year. That will help the public understand.