Florida Senate is ready to approve a change to make public schools send tax revenues to charter schools for construction

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Hallway of Boca Ciega High School in Pinellas County [Photo credit: Pinellas County Schools]

The Florida Senate could give final approval Thursday to a measure that would require school districts to share local property tax revenues with charter schools.

The money, known as “capital outlay” funds, could be used on expenses such as constructing and renovating facilities.

Currently, charter schools largely receive such funds from the state budget. Under the bill (HB 1259), districts would share revenues derived from discretionary 1.5-mill local levies.

The money would be divvied up based on charter schools’ proportionate share of districts’ total enrollment.

The measure would require a phased-in approach to revenue sharing.

In the 2023-2024 fiscal year, districts would have to share a portion of 20 percent of the money.

From there, districts would share a portion of 40 percent of the funds 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.

House members last month voted 82-31 to pass the bill, meaning approval by the Senate would position the bill to go to Gov. Ron DeSantis.

©2023 The News Service of Florida

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