The Florida Legislature, particularly the House, is hell-bent on pushing its charter school facility funding and expansion agenda at the expense of the state’s traditional public schools.
Let me be perfectly clear. I don’t oppose charter schools. In fact, I’ve been very supportive of them. While in the Legislature I voted for legislation that promoted choice within the public school system, such as magnet schools, charter school conversions and career academies.
One of the initial selling points of charter schools was that they could operate less expensively. Start-up charter schools boasted that they could provide space to meet our growing student population in overcrowded schools. They rented inexpensive space in empty strip malls and storefronts, saving taxpayers by delaying the need to expand existing schools or to build new ones.