Charter school students & teachers advocate for funding in the state Capitol


Tallahassee, FL – April 8, 2015 - Busloads of students arrived at the state Capitol on Tuesday morning, April 7th. They were on a mission to share their success stories, and tell legislators how students are benefitting from a charter school education funded by the state.

Proudly wearing “I Love My Charter School” and “Ask Me A bout My Charter School” stickers, the more than 300 students walked the halls of the capitol buildings meeting with legislators and staffers. They talked about their school, their plans for college, and urged legislators to continue to fund public education, including Public Education Capital Outlay (PECO) used for facility construction and maintenance.

The current House budget includes $100 million allocation for PECO. The Senate budget allocation is zero dollars.

“There is a great deal of misinformation out there about charter schools, our funding, and capital outlay. The reality is charter schools that are eligible to receive PECO dollars get, on average, 40 percent of what district schools receive,” explains Robert Haag, President, of the Florida Consortium of Public Charter Schools. “As an organization that represents an estimated 75 percent of the state’s charter schools, including many of the small, independently operated charter schools, we were in Tallahassee to speak to legislators about funding, address their questions, and urge them to fund PECO because it is the only source of facility funding charter schools receive.”

Students and teachers from Pensacola to South Florida participated in the charter school Rally in Tally. Those who couldn’t travel to Tallahassee sent hundreds letters to their legislators.

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Students from Imagine Land O Lakes, Bay Haven Charter Academy, Orlando Science Academy, Mater Academy, Somerset Central Miramar, Sports Leadership and Management (SLAM), City of Hialeah Educational Academy, and Sarasota Academy stand on the steps of the Capitol after visiting with legislators.