School Choice & Charters

Fla. City Eyes More Charters

October 31, 2006 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Officials in Pembroke Pines, Fla., are contemplating an effort to convert 13 Broward County public schools into charters run by the city.

City commissioners voted last month in favor of studying the matter, and will be ready by March to vote on whether to move forward with the proposal to expand their charter school portfolio.

The city already operates seven charter schools, serving some 5,000 students. Those schools have consistently earned high rankings under the state’s accountability system and gained the city national notice for its venture into education. (“Using Charter Powers, Booming Fla. City Opts to Build Own Schools,” Sept. 24, 2003.)

City Manager Charles F. Dodge argues that the charters have been getting financially shortchanged by the 270,000-student Broward County district, which has a total of 48 charter schools. He also says the district has failed to deal with overcrowding in its regular public schools in Pembroke Pines.

The charter schools have long waiting lists, according to Mr. Dodge. “That tells you something about what we’re doing,” he said last week in an interview.

For any of the 13 regular public schools to convert to charter status, at least half the parents and half the faculty members at the school would have to vote in favor.

Mr. Dodge says the city’s charters receive about $6,300 per student. But when he does the math for the Broward district’s overall budget, the total per pupil in regular schools comes out to about twice that level, he contends.

“We’re saying, ‘Where is all this money going?’ ” he said. “What can be done better to put more money back in the classroom?”

“Conversion” charters would be in a stronger position financially, Mr. Dodge said, because unlike with the seven “start-up” charters the city operates, the Broward County system would be responsible for providing facilities and maintenance.

“If we didn’t have debt service, we would have $6 million to enhance programming in our [existing charter] schools,” he said.

Broward County school officials could not be reached for comment.

But school board member Marty Rubinstein recently told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel newspaper that the charter proposal might jeopardize district plans to build a new school in Pembroke Pines to relieve overcrowding. “Why in the world would I as a school board member want to build them a high school that they’re going to convert into a charter school?” he told the newspaper.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the November 01, 2006 edition of Education Week

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Attend to the Whole Child: Non-Academic Factors within MTSS
Learn strategies for proactively identifying and addressing non-academic barriers to student success within an MTSS framework.
Content provided by Renaissance
Classroom Technology K-12 Essentials Forum How to Teach Digital & Media Literacy in the Age of AI
Join this free event to dig into crucial questions about how to help students build a foundation of digital literacy.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School Choice & Charters Why Jay-Z Is a Key Figure in the School Voucher Debate
Jay-Z's backing of school vouchers in Pennsylvania has public education advocates worried it will divert funds.
6 min read
Jay-Z arrives at the premiere of "The Book of Clarence" on Friday, Jan. 5, 2024, at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles. Jay-Z is putting his weight behind an effort to fund private school vouchers in Philadelphia. The entertainment mogul’s Roc Nation announced it is funding a campaign in June 2024 to drum up support for the Pennsylvania Award for Student Success.
Jay-Z arrives at the premiere of "The Book of Clarence" on Friday, Jan. 5, 2024, at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles. Jay-Z is putting his weight behind an effort to fund private school vouchers in Philadelphia. The entertainment mogul’s Roc Nation announced it is funding an outreach campaign to drum up support for the Pennsylvania Award for Student Success.
Richard Shotwell/Invision via AP
School Choice & Charters Video Private School Choice: A Video Explainer
We're tracking the proliferation of school choice policies around the country. Here's how to get up to speed.
2 min read
School Choice & Charters Opinion What Would Religious Charter Schools Mean for Public Education?
Discriminating and proselytizing on the taxpayer dime will never be acceptable, writes Kevin G. Welner.
Kevin G. Welner
5 min read
A green apple with a cross shaped stem in between red apples.
Richard Mia for Education Week
School Choice & Charters Private School Choice Continues to Spread. 3 Things to Know
New research shows private schools increase tuition when states send public funds for parents to spend on private education.
6 min read
Image of private school kids outside in the school yard.
E+