BRADENTON -- In 2012, charter schools were narrowly unsuccessful in getting a state bill passed to require public school districts to give charter schools some of their local property tax revenue, though they received about $55 million for school construction through Governor Scott's controversial decision to give them all of the state's available capital outlay funding. If a recently proposed FLDOE budget is adopted, they'll get even more next year, while school districts again go without.
Last week, The Palm Beach Post reported on a report the FLDOE gave a Florida Senate subcommittee regarding the Florida Board of Education’s requested budget for next year. According to the report, the budget includes a request for about $64 million to go toward capital improvements, all at charter schools. If approved, the budget would mark the third straight year Florida has given capital outlay money to charter schools, but not to public school districts.
Capital outlay funds are typically used to build and maintain traditional public schools. Without funding from the state, districts are faced with raising property taxes to cover capital costs when they are not able to find the funds in their own budgets, which have been steeply reduced following years of declines in property values.