Charter school students are performing better than their peers at district schools. A report released last month by the Florida Department of Education shows that charter students had higher grade level performance (proficient in 65 of 77 comparisons). Charter students were also more likely to make learning gains (in 82 of 96 comparisons). The report shows that charter schools are raising student achievement across the state.
Despite these impressive results, charter schools receive less funding than district schools. According to a 2012 TaxWatch Report, “The absence of equitable local funding for both operational and capital purposes creates a significant financial disadvantage for Florida charter schools. Charter schools may receive just 68 to 71 percent of what districts receive per student.”
Charter schools serve almost 300,000 Florida families. By failing to share funds, districts treat those families as second class citizens. Charter school parents are furious about that. Lawmakers hope to make things right for those families. HB7069 does that by providing equal funding.
I belong to one of those second-class families. I’m a charter school mom, and both my children attend a charter school. Our family is very happy with our choice. Some folks believe my children are worth less because they’re at a charter school. They don’t say it that way; they use a twisted explanation. They claim charter schools benefit “for profit companies.” They make it sound like something sinister.
Who are they trying to fool? We all know district schools benefit “for profit companies” as well. I’ve yet to encounter the non-profit company that builds district schools. I haven’t met the non-profit company that makes the desks or publishes the books either.
As a consumer, I don’t care whether a product I’m buying is “for profit” or “nonprofit.” I just want the best product for my needs. The tax code treats us all as “for profit” citizens. We’re taxed on the income we earn, right? So are for profit companies. I’m not buying a sham argument that vilifies for profit companies, and neither should you.
I’m an education consumer. And all I want is the best education for my children. Right now, the public school I selected for my children is being under-funded. HB7069 helps to fix that, and I’m buying it. I urge you to contact Governor Scott to support HB7069 and help children.