Scott budget: Reserve facilities funding for charter schools in struggling areas

Gov. Scott
Gov. Scott

Gov. Rick Scott this morning rolled out a $77 billion spending proposal that, as he previously announced, would increase funding for public schools, boost funding for Personal Learning Scholarship Accounts and set aside $100 million for charter school facilities.

Under the governor’s plan, that charter school funding would come with some additional requirements.

To qualify for state capital funding, new charter schools would have to be accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, obtain a surety bond to ensure they’re on firm financial ground, and “be established primarily to serve students in the attendance zone of a school” that is struggling academically, to the point that it requires state intervention.

The schools would also have to receive a school grade from the state.

The requirements are contained in the proviso language, or fine print, of Scott’s budget proposal, which can be found here. They would only apply to charter schools authorized after July 2015 that seek state capital funding.

Scott has floated similar ideas in past budget announcements,and said he wants new charter schools to “go where the needs are.” So far, however, such requirements haven’t made their way into the final budgets approved by the Legislature.