Oral Arguments Held to Determine Fate of Bill Providing More Equitable Funding to Public School Students
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Florida’s First District Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments on House Bill (HB) 7069, a bill that ensures all the state’s public students receive more equitable funding. “During oral arguments, we will make the case that charter school students should be treated the same as their district school counterparts, just as the lower court ruled and just as we believe the law demands,” said Shawn Arnold, an attorney representing several intervening charter schools and charter school parents in the case.
HB 7069, which was passed by the Florida Legislature and signed into law in 2017, ensures that school boards share capital outlay dollars (local tax revenue) with public charter schools. Because of HB 7069, today, charter schools are required to receive their fair share of local tax revenue, which helps ensure charter schools can provide adequate facilities for their students.
“Charter schools strengthen the public education system by providing a public, tuition-free, high-quality education in schools that put the needs of students first,” said National Alliance Senior Director of Legal Affairs Robert Reed, Jr. “All public-school students—including those who attend charter schools—deserve the same funding regardless of which type of public school they choose to attend. In fact, Florida law recognizes this and requires charter school students be funded at a comparable level to students attending district public schools. We urge the courts to recognize and uphold the purpose of HB 7069: to ensure that public funds are fairly distributed to all public-school students.”
Currently, there are 313,000 students attending charter schools across Florida. Prior to the passage of HB 7069, nearly every school district in the state refused to share locally-raised capital outlay dollars with charter schools. Because charter schools must often spend a sizable portion of their annual operating budget on rent payments for their school facility, charter schools had far less money to use for essential operations and classroom support.
The National Alliance's Charter School Legal Action Fund has supported efforts to uphold HB 7069 since it was signed into law in 2017.