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Stories Scrutinize Florida Charter Schools' Finances, Enrollment

A package of hard-hitting stories out of Florida have raised questions about the financial oversight of charter schools in the state, and their enrollment practices.

The reports seem likely to raise new questions about whether the state has done an adequate job of keeping tabs on its diverse and growing charter sector, and who's benefitting financially from that growth.

The Miami Herald this week produced a far-reaching exmination of the insider connections and potential conflicts of interest in the state's charter school industry. Some of the boards of charter schools—the schools receive public funds based on student enrollment—are ceding almost total control of their operations to private management companies, while others are paying unusually high amounts of rent for their facilities to landlords who have ties to the management companies running the schools, the Herald concludes, to cite just a couple of examples. Links to the full package of stories can be found here.

A StateImpact Florida/Herald project, meanwhile, raises questions about whether the state's charters are serving a sufficient number of students with disabilities. "More than 86 percent of the charter schools do not serve a single child with a severe disability—compared to more than half of district schools which do," the story says.

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