Charter schools didn't get the makeover they hoped for this legislative session, but they managed to secure money to support growth and a seat on the State School Board, among other things.
The House and the Senate tossed SB2, the public education budget, back and forth Thursday, arguing over a last-minute move to force school districts to pass charters a share of their property tax revenue. Last year, in an attempt to compensate for charter schools' inability to levy taxes, the state dumped $45 million into the program.
In the end, the two houses agreed to study charter financing after the session and address the problem next year.
The Legislature did award charter schools $13 million for growth, however. District schools, on the other hand, will have to absorb the cost of some 11,000 new children.
Other passed bills included SB188, which gives a member of the State Charter School Board a non-voting position on the State School Board, and SB55, which gives colleges and universities the power to start K-12 public schools. HB149 eliminates the statutory cap on charter growth.
— Elizabeth Stuart