FCPCS Responds to Sun Sentinel OpEd piece

A Response to the Sun Sentinel - September 7, 2014

Dear editorial board members,

There were several good points in the op-ed pieces about charter schools published in the Sun Sentinel on Sunday, September 7. FCPCS and our member schools support accountability and the right of a district/charter school authorizer to ensure that only quality charter schools open, and continue to operate.

However, there were several points in your publication that were not correct and many important facts about charter schools were omitted. Let’s begin. Charter schools ARE, by law, public schools - NOT privately run schools. Charter school law permits charters to contract with for-profit companies, which school districts also do, for transportation, food, construction, or any number of services. They are, however, run by non-profit governing board and are completely accountable to the district that authorizes them, and the students and families they serve. Charter schools must adhere to many local, state, and federal mandates and regulations – including class size (on a school-wide average), hiring state certified educators, preparing students to take state assessment exams, and more. All of this is done while receiving significantly less funding than district-run schools.

There are hundreds of charter schools in Florida that provide a quality education to students from Kindergarten to 12th grade. Many of those schools serve underserved communities, and children who desperately need an alternative education option. A few bad apples do not define the charter school community.

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