School Board Devotes $150K to Challenge the Charter-Friendly Law

Palm Beach County School Board plans to invest approximately $150,000 in legal charges to challenge a state law that it competes will send out an approximated $230 countless its capital spending plan to charter schools over the next year.

The board formerly had gone over signing up with other school districts in a suit over parts of House Bill 7069 that ended up being law in June, the 7 members voted all Wednesday night to go it alone.

Board member Frank Barbieri opened the conversation by stating he had many issues about taking part in a joint claim.

The board would have less control with numerous celebrations included. Barbieri also questioned what would happen if one district took out– would that end attorney-client benefits paid for to all? And there was the matter of the expenses – other school districts onboard had discussed a $350,000 cap that would take the fit just through the very first level of appeal.

The argument that resonated with numerous board members and Superintendent Robert Avossa was that Palm Beach County’s scenario is special because some of the money in question comes from a cent sales tax citizen authorized in November.

In pitching the tax to the general public, the district made pledges that did not include providing the cash to charters, Avossa stated.

” We informed everyone precisely what we would do and what that would appear like,” Avossa stated. This law would need modifications to those strategies.

Area 31 of HB 7069 needs school districts to provide charter schools a share of tax money designated for upkeep and building- money that formerly was booked for school districts. The law would mean Palm Beach County’s district would need to pay $8 million to $10 million to charters in February, Chief Financial Officer Mike Burke stated. And during the years the amount might grow to $230 million.

More than 20,000 trainees go to about 50 charter schools in the county, and a speaker on behalf of charter schools argued it is money should have and owed.

” Charter schools have been underfunded,” stated Lynn Norman-Teck, executive director of the Florida Charter School Association. “Bill 7069 brings some step of equity.”.

Norman-Teck asked that the board think about that the district is expected to serve charter school trainees and parents as part of the general public-school system.” Have a dialog with them before you move on with a suit.”.

Still, Board Chairman Chuck Shaw, a previous charter school principal, stated, “What we do not have any capability to do … when we provide those capital expense dollars to charter schools is to make sure they remain there,” he stated. “That money might never ever be used for the charter schools that made it.”.

The district’s lawyer reported that the constitutional law specialists at the company Boise Schiller say the $150,000 will take the fit through an interest the Florida Supreme Court.

Up until then, the board explained, nevertheless, that they do not wish to keep that money come February unless they get some greater authority provides approval.

” Although I strongly think the statute is unconstitutional on numerous premises, I’m not recommending that we keep paying to the charter schools on February 1st unless a court has identified that the statute is unconstitutional or, at a minimum, offered us with injunctive relief,” Barbieri stated.