Florida school boards are questioning the constitutionality of standard charter school contracts as the state Board of Education gets set to vote on rules creating them.
Their objections appear in hundreds of pages of recent comments and letters to the state Department of Education. The Florida School Boards Association wrote in July: “We view this as an unconstitutional encroachment on the school board’s authority to operate, supervise, and control all public schools within the school district.”
The comments and letters were obtained by redefinED through a public records request. They reflect more than a year of public pushing and behind-the-scenes wrangling over standardized charter school contracts. The rules creating them are set to come before the state board at its November meeting.
The proposed contracts were set in motion by a 2013 law. Backed by charter school advocates, the law required the Department of Education to develop a standard contract that would serve as a starting point for agreements between charter schools and every district in the state. The stated goal: To streamline the contract process, set a baseline for expectations and create an opportunity for more meaningful negotiations.