Proposal to Allow a State Charter School Authorizer Advances in Florida Constitution Revision Commission

The last time Florida lawmakers tried to set up an independent charter school authorizer, an appellate court struck it down as facially unconstitutional.

Now, the Florida Constitution Revision Commission wants to revise the language to allow future Legislatures to take such a step if they see fit.

At issue is a single word in Article IX — “within.” Voters decided in 1968 that local school boards would operate, control and supervise all free public schools “within” their school districts.

Commission member Erika Donalds proposed changing the language so boards would have that oversight over all the schools “established by” the district. That would give the Legislature the power to set up alternative public schools outside the current model, similar to 34 other states.

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