Florida House is set to approve requirement for public school districts to share tax revenue with charter schools

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The Florida House on Wednesday could pass a measure that would require school districts to share local property-tax revenue with charter schools.

House members took up the bill Tuesday, setting it up for a vote. Under the proposal (HB 1259), tax dollars collected through discretionary 1.5-mill local levies would be shared based on charter schools’ proportionate share of districts’ total enrollment.

The money, known as “capital outlay” funds, can be used for such things as purchasing property and constructing facilities.

Charter schools largely receive such funding through the state budget. The measure also includes a phased-in approach to sharing the money, with bill sponsor Jennifer Canady, R-Lakeland, describing it as a “five-year glide path.” The plan calls for districts to share a portion of 20 percent of the money in the 2023-2024 fiscal year; a portion of 40 percent in the 2024-2025 fiscal year; a portion of 60 percent in 2025-2026; a portion of 80 percent in 2026-2027; and a portion of 100 percent in 2027-2028 and beyond. A House staff analysis estimated districts would be required to distribute nearly $56 million to charter schools in the first year, based on a projected enrollment of 371,253 charter school students.

©2023 The News Service of Florida

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