At their meeting today – Wednesday, September 27, 2017 at 5 p.m. – the Palm Beach School Board plans to discuss withholding capital outlay dollars from charter schools. Ralph Arza, FCSA’s Director of Government Relations, uncovered the issue and has been in contact with the Superintendent and some of the board members in an effort to have a dialog and come up with a better solution.
Today’s vote is part of the school board’s continued effort to fight equitable funding for all students and disregard the thousands of Palm Beach parents who choose to send their children to a public charter school. In July, FCSA Executive Director Lynn Norman-Teck spoke before the board urging them to support all the students they were elected to serve – including the more than 20,000 charter school students in Palm Beach County. Instead, they voted to put taxpayer dollars towards a courtroom battle in an effort to maintain a funding formula that treats one select group of students better than others.
This is the same board that recently lost a costly battle to keep a quality charter school from opening.
At the Florida Charter School Alliance, we believe education dollars, whether allocated by the state or raised locally, should be allotted to the child they are earmarked for. We once again urge school board members to do what’s best for all the public school students in the county.
The board agenda reads as follows:
Subject LD2 Capital Outlay Funds Under HB7069
On August 25, 2017, the Board was provided with the NOTICE LETTER that was sent out to all Charter Schools in Palm Beach County regarding the District’s intent to legally challenge the constitutionality of the capital outlay funds referenced in Section 31 of HB 7069. From a majority of responses received as of this date, it appears that the charter schools will not agree to not pledge these future capital outlay revenues, nor will they agree to even inform the District of any intent to pledge these funds.
Therefore, since time is of the essence in that the first distribution of these capital outlay funds will occur on or before February 1, 2018, the Superintendent and General Counsel seek direction from the Board as to the best approach to protect the District’s interests.
The FCSA will continue to work on behalf of charter schools in Palm Beach and the families they serve If you have any questions or want to be part of our efforts to resolve this matter, contact us today.
Contact your school board member today and remind them that charter school students are public school students too and withholding critical facilities dollars will only hurt the students and families you serve.
Meeting location: The School District of Palm Beach County – 3300 Forest Hill Blvd., West Palm Beach
Live broadcast: The Education Network (T.E.N.) on Comcast Channels 234, AT&T U-verse Channel 99 and You Tube at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vsKA53bwatg