January 30, 2018 – Tallahassee, FL –The districts in the Alachua case against HB7069 had filed a motion requesting that mileage funds be held in a court registry until the case was decided instead of being distributed to charter schools. Today, a judge heard arguments from the State and the Plantiff, and denied the districts’ request. Disbursement of shared local mileage to charter school will go on as scheduled. A request by the Palm Beach School Board to block the distribution of local capital dollars to public charter schools was also denied by a Leon County judge (January 12, 2018).
Although the judge cautioned that his rulings on today’s preliminary motions are not necessarily indicative of the final ruling, it is good new for the charter school movement. “We are incredibly pleased with this decision. The release of capital funds as scheduled on February 1st is great news to the public charter schools around the state who rely on those critical dollars to serve their students. Withholding funds would have put a financial burden on many schools – especially small schools that serve high need areas who would have had to tap into limited operation dollars to cover capital expenses,” explained Lynn Norman-Teck with the Florida Charter School Alliance – a statewide charter school support and advocacy group.
“As a very small not for profit charter school that specifically serves some of the county’s most challenging ESE population, we are elated that these public dollars will be available for our public school students,” says Barbara Fitz, Executive Director, EdVentures charter school in Palm Beach.
Today’s decision impacts more than 270,000 students who attend public charter schools throughout Florida. House Bill 7069, which the Florida Legislature adopted last Session, brought funding equity to all public school students.
“Ultimately, the significance of this decision is whether or not every student is going to get equitable resources,” explains Jenny Hill, Resilience Charter School in Alachua County. “Any decision regarding the sharing of local funding impacts our ability to educate kids, and that’s what matters most.”
# # #
Media Contact: Lynn Norman-Teck, (305) 216-6208