January 11, 2018 – Tallahassee, FL – This week, the Florida Department of Education (FDOE) released a summary with the local capital improvement revenue (LCIR) amounts that eligible charter schools will receive next month. In previous years, charter schools had relied solely on state allocated dollars through PECO (public education capital outlay) for facilities funding while district-run schools received facility funding from various sources including PECO, local mileage, and others. House Bill 7069, passed during the 2017 legislative session, changed that formula – requiring that all public school students receive a share of LCIR.
This was a victory for families of charter school students who had contributed to LCIR through property taxes but those dollars didn’t reach their child’s school.
“While House Bill 7069 was a step towards funding equity for all public school students, we are far from completely doing away with a formula that treats one group of students better than others,” says Lynn Norman-Teck, Executive Director of the Florida Charter School Alliance and charter school parent. According to the calculations provided by the Florida Department of Education LCIR summary, local capital outlay allocation varies greatly from district to district and the total disbursement is impacted by various factors — including a school district’s debt service obligation. There are districts, like Sarasota, who have been good stewards of public dollars and have managed debt responsibly. However, some districts, like Pasco, whose debt obligation is so high that zero LCIR dollars will be allocated to charter school students this year.
“The extreme debt of some districts hurts students – especially those who chose to attend a charter school. We ask that our lawmakers carefully review the LCIR summary and find a solution that helps all students,” says Ralph Arza, Director of Governmental Affairs, Florida Charter School Alliance.
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Summaries and Memo from FDOE below: