University charter school bill passes House

charter schools
The bill sponsor said this arrangement offers "accountability."

A bill that sponsoring Rep. Jason Fischer sees as a way to bring new “accountability” to school choice passed the Florida House Thursday.

HB 1197 allows state universities and members of the Florida College System to sponsor charters for all grade levels.

The Department of Education would approve charter sponsors and offer annual reports on how they perform. Meanwhile, per student funding would equate to that spent on traditional public school students per capita.

The bill is seen as a boon for career education, creating a bridge between the resources colleges and universities have to create workforce readiness.

In his closing remarks, Fischer lauded this “public school supporting bill.”

“I was a School Board member,” Fischer noted. In that capacity, Fischer encountered numerous private companies, including busing, IT, and food service companies, all of which operated for profit.

“You look for outcomes, what is the outcome and what is the expense,” Fischer asked rhetorically.

The bill offers ​”another layer of accountability” for charters, Fischer said, noting that additional “accountability in the school choice arena” is something that should appeal to everyone.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has been a correspondent for since 2014. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." He can be reached at [email protected]


  • Jan

    April 25, 2019 at 4:41 pm

    As a high school guidance counselor for 35 years, I have seen this coming–universities and community colleges now wanting a “piece of the” public school funding “pie.” This means more money for them and less for public schools.
    Instead of funding public schools properly (Florida is 47th in the country in per pupil funding), our legislature seeks more and more ways to destroy public education as we know it–that is their goal.
    Public schools don’t fail. Let me repeat that–Public schools don’t fail: students fail, parents fail, communities fail, state legislatures fail. Another charter school option without collective bargaining for staff, without a union contract, benefits, fair pay and retirement for teachers, will not make a difference in achievement.

    • Karen

      April 26, 2019 at 7:52 am

      40 years ago when I came to Jacksonville and placed my children in what was supposed to be the most wonderful public school in the area my son’s second grade teacher told me that she had one child who took up 3/4 of her day. A week later my kids were in private school!
      There were no charter schools then and I can’t help wondering how many normal healthy kids who wanted to learn were dragged down because there was no option if the parents didn’t have $$ for private school.
      I now believe looking at the ignorance of millennial today, this was & is the globalist plan to dumb down our population to be takers, group thinkers & followers!!

  • Jan

    April 25, 2019 at 5:58 pm

    One after thought: about 20% of Florida students have either IEP’s, ESOL designation or 504 Plans (Students with disabilities or non English speaking.) These students have rarely been served by charter schools or privates because they either do not have the resources, teaching staff, or the prospective students do not meet their admission standards in the first place.
    Do charter schools address students with these issues like public schools have to by law? Non English speaking? ADHD? Learning Disabilities? Autism? Behavior Disorder? Emotionally Handicapped, Physically or Mentally Handicapped? Other Health Impaired? etc? No, not to the extent public schools have to by Federal law.
    Parents are led to believe their students will be admitted to a University or College Charter School automatically–but their students must meet the admission standards.
    Where do the students go when they don’t make the grade at these charters? Right back to the public schools they came from, after the charter/private has taken the state funding. Bottom line: The legislature needs to support public education and stop looking for ways to get around their responsibilities for political reasons.

  • Karen

    April 26, 2019 at 7:35 am

    My third grade grandson attends a K-12 charter school with 1200 kids. It is a beautiful thing to see, kids from every ethnic origin imaginable learning, laughing, & respecting what they are given here! The common denominator are PARENTS WHO CARE!!
    PARENTS WHO CARE finally have school choice!!!

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