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CHARTER SCHOOLS’ EFFECTIVENESS, MECHANISMS, AND COMPETITIVE INFLUENCE

From NBER/National Bureau of Economic Research
Sarah R. Cohodes & Katharine S. Parham
February 2021

This paper reviews the research on the impacts of charter school attendance on students’ academic and other outcomes, the mechanisms behind those effects, and the influence of charter schools on nearby traditional public schools, almost three decades after the first charter school was established. READ MORE

 

FLORIDA STUDENTS MUST RETURN TO SCHOOL FOR TESTING, EVEN IF THEY’VE BEEN LEARNING AT HOME

From South Florida Sun Sentinel
By Lisa J. Huriash  Feb 17, 2021

Florida wants all students in grades 3 and up to show up in person for standardized tests this spring — regardless of whether their parents have kept them at home for COVID-19. READ MORE

 

Florida Consortium of Public Charter Schools (FCPCS) Says Some School Districts are Withholding a Five Percent Administrative Fee from the Teacher Salary Increase Allocation for Charter School Teachers

FCPCS calls on school districts to reverse their decision to withhold an administrative fee from the charter school teacher salary increase allocation.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (February 25, 2021) –The Florida Consortium of Public Charter Schools (FCPCS) today called on school districts to distribute 100 percent of the teacher salary increase allocation intended for charter school teachers.  This comes as many of the state's school districts are withholding an administrative fee from each charter school's proportionate share of funds allocated for teacher salary increases.

The 2020 Florida Legislature supported Governor Ron DeSantis' initiative to make Florida teachers a priority with historic legislation that budgeted $500 million to increase teacher salaries at district and charter schools.  This investment was the single largest teacher compensation increase ever in Florida.  $400 million was allocated to raise the minimum pay for full-time teachers and certified pre-kindergarten teachers to at least $47,500, or to the maximum amount achievable based on the allocation and as specified in the General Appropriations Act; $100 million was allocated to raise salaries of veteran teachers and other full-time instructional personnel.

However, many districts are withholding a five percent administrative fee from funds specifically earmarked for teachers, releasing only 95 percent of charter schools’ total allocation.  State law allows a school district to charge charter schools a total administrative fee based on five percent of the available Florida Education Finance Program (FEFP) funds for up to 250 students or two percent for up to 250 students for high-performing charter schools.

To meet the targeted salary increases designed under Florida law, many charter schools are being forced to find other funds to make up the difference between their proportionate share allocated by the Legislature and the actual funds distributed by their district.  On average, this amounts to nearly $500 per teacher – funds some districts are retaining.

"We are confident that both Governor DeSantis and the Florida Legislature intended for 100 percent of the teacher salary increase allocation to go directly to the teachers," said FCPCS President Robert Haag. "Money for teachers should not be subject to the five percent (or two percent) administrative fee.  The Florida Consortium of Public Charter Schools calls on school districts to reconsider their decision to withhold a percentage of the teacher salary increase allocation so the full amount of the charter schools' proportionate share can be used for the purpose in which it was intended - salary increases for the dedicated and hardworking teachers at Florida's public charter schools." 

About the Florida Consortium of Public Charter Schools   

The Florida Consortium of Public Charter Schools (FCPCS) is the leading charter school membership association in the state, with a membership of nearly 75 percent of all operating charter schools.  Since its inception in 1999, FCPCS has been dedicated to creating a national model of high quality, accredited public charter schools that are student-centered and performance-driven.  FCPCS provides a wide array of technical support, mentoring, training, networking, and purchasing services to its membership, as well as serving as an advocate for all Florida public charter schools.    

 

CHARTER SCHOOL NETWORK PREPARES TO RETURN FORMERLY STRUGGLING NORTH FLORIDA SCHOOLS TO LOCAL CONTROL 

From redefinED
By Lisa Buie  February 9, 2021

Nearly five years after taking over operations of Jefferson County’s struggling school system, Somerset Academy, Inc. is preparing to return control to the local school board.
“I’m super proud of how far we’ve come,” said Cory Oliver, who has served as principal of the combined K-12 campus since two district schools were turned over to the South Florida based charter school network. “It’s a completely different school.” READ MORE

 

 

FLORIDA SCHOOLS WILL RESUME STATE TESTING, IN PERSON. SOME SAY NO WAY

From Tampa Bay Times
By Jeffrey S. Solochek  Published Feb. 11

Pasco County eighth-grader Sophia Slagter has attended classes from home since the pandemic began nearly a year ago. She’s got asthma and other health issues that put her at risk, and her family has taken strict precautions to keep her safe. They plan to continue “hunkering down” until the threat abates. READ MORE

 
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