In what may be the last public meeting on the budget, lawmakers revealed a surprise budget deal that yanks money from public schools, reports the News Service of Florida. The measure reduces a fee that schools receive for certain charter schools. Under a bill passed yesterday by the Legislature (SB 1546), certain highly-rated charter schools are granted greater power to expand enrollment or add new grades without having to get school district approval. But under a separate deal unveiled Thursday, the second-to-last day of the legislative session, school districts would receive less money for those same highly-rated charter schools. Rather than a 5 percent fee of the per-student fee for the first 250 students, districts would receive 2 percent. ? think 2 percent? more than adequate to pay for the services that are given from school districts to charter schools,?said Senate budget chief JD Alexander. ?his is only for high-performing, which I believe are A and B schools.?Alexander, a Republican from Lake Wales, defended the last-minute deal as a ?ompromise?to get closure on outstanding issues. The administrative fee is used to pay for the costs of oversight of charter schools, which are considered part of the county school district.
Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.