Back about 15 years ago, the Florida Legislature gave school districts the opportunity to apply for charter status, freeing them from many of the rules and limitations that the state imposes on public education.
Hillsborough County won the label. So, too, did Volusia and Palm Beach counties.
The districts tinkered around the edges of the rules for some years, finding some ease of restrictions in areas such as purchasing. They had to apply for state waivers from the rules, and lost perhaps as many as they won.
After a while, with nothing really to show for the effort, the pilot project quietly died off.
But everything old becomes new again with time, and Rep. Manny Diaz, chairman of the House Choice and Innovation subcommittee, has proposed reviving charter districts. On Thursday, Diaz filed HB 357, with the nickname the Charter School District Pilot Program. (No mention is made to the effort started in 1999.)