For two years, the Florida Senate squashed House attempts to revise the state’s charter school laws. The 2015 session looks quite different.
Senate Education Committee chairman John Legg, who operates a Pasco County charter school, this week filed a bill (SB 1448) that adopts the language of a House Choice and Innovation proposed committee bill on charters — and then goes even further.
Legg’s bill mimics the House version in supporting a Florida Institute for Charter School Innovation, an apparent first step toward creating a state-level charter authorizer other than school districts. The state hasn’t had an alternate route to charter approval since the courts ruled unconstitutional the Florida Schools of Excellence Commission in 2008.
Other provisions in both bills include:
– Automatic termination of charters with two consecutive F grades.
– A requirement that charter applicants disclose more details about their past charter activities, which sponsors must consider.
Legg’s bill moves beyond the House version to expand other school choice options for parents. Most sweeping, he would extend open enrollment throughout the state without regard to political boundaries.