The state Board of Education on Tuesday unanimously approved a proposal creating a standard contract that will serve as a model for charter school agreements throughout the state.
Districts and charters alike have raised concerns about aspects of the plan — a sign, state school choice director Adam Miller said, that the proposal struck a balance between the two camps.
Much of the pushback, he noted during the board’s meeting in Central Florida, centered on the policy of standard contracts itself. Districts have contended the proposal, created in response to 2013 legislation, is unconstitutional.
State officials have spent nearly a year and a half refining the plan, taking input from district and charter school attorneys.
The standard contract will serve only as the starting point for districts as they draft charter agreements. They can make any changes they wish, but will be required to note them clearly.
Responding to a concern raised by some districts, Miller noted the standard contract will not become the “default” if a district and a charter school can’t agree on a portion of their proposed charter contract.
Board member Rebecca Fishman Lipsey noted the proposal might “streamline” the process for getting charter applications approved, but wanted to know how it would affect districts’ ability to oversee charters.
“If anything, I think it ups the bar,” Miller said. “We have some really strong, outcome based accountability provisions here.”