Florida in focus: Charter schools will get $96M in capital aid from Florida school districts next year

Jul 1, 2017 by

Florida’s 650 charter schools will see an extra $96.3 million coming their way in 2017-18, thanks to a controversial provision in a sweeping education bill Gov. Rick Scott signed into law earlier this month that forces school districts to hand over some of their local tax dollars.

An aspect of HB 7069 that most concerned school district administrators and locally elected school boards requires districts to give a cut of their taxpayer funding to privately managed charter schools for use on construction and maintenance projects.

Data requested by the Herald/Times and provided by the Florida House now provides a look at the statewide impact of that fiscal policy.

The $96 million equates to nearly 7 percent of the $1.4 billion statewide that county school districts would have had in total to spend next year, after accounting for required debt payments off the top.

WCTV: 125 laws to hit the books in Florida on July 1

Rideshare services will have to comply with statewide rules, and students and teachers will be allowed to express their religious beliefs at public schools under new laws that will go into effect Saturday.

The changes are among 125 revisions to Florida statutes that will hit the books on July 1.

The new laws include Florida’s $82 billion budget, along with a package offering $91.6 million in tax breaks during the upcoming year. There will be new rules regarding public notification of toxic spills, and a controversial law involving charter schools will also go into effect.

Lawmakers sent 241 bills to Governor Scott during the regular legislative session that ended in May, along with four proposals passed during a three-day special session earlier this month. The governor has signed 234 measures and vetoed 11.

A number of the bills still require approval from voters before becoming law, including a statewide proposal that would expand the homestead exemption by $25,000 if approved.

Florida Political Review: How Florida legislature handled its five biggest issues during the past session

From legislative debate to bill signings, Floridians across the state have watched and expressed a wide range of emotion over the state’s major legislative session.

The five big issues that were publicly followed during the 60-day session and made the journey to Governor Scott’s desk include:

– Budget

At the start of the legislative session, Governor Scott had proposed an $83.5 billion budget for the fiscal year that starts on July 1, encouraging legislators to increase education spending while calling for $618 million in tax cuts.

On June 2, Governor Scott signed the budget for the 2017-2018 fiscal year while vetoing $410 million in legislative projects that were deemed ineffective for Floridians.

Source: Florida in focus: Charter schools will get $96M in capital aid from Florida school districts next year – Watchdog.org

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