In February, Florida police officer Robert Ascencio, now president of the Florida Public Employees Partnership, penned a disturbing overview of investigations into Florida charter schools. The investigation Ascencio was part of found “owners of the management companies were either the same as the school founders or were directly connected to them.” And that “all of [these] revealed major conflicts of interests in most of the decisions made on the spending of tax dollars and education of students.”
Worst of all, his investigation found that the “majority of these schools were found to be ill-equipped with teaching materials that often were substandard to those in public schools.”
Florida’s lawmakers and policymakers excessively favor charter schools in a manner that does not rise to Wise’s irreparable-harm standard. While charter-school lobbyists bemoan the singling out of a few bad apples, it’s clear that the current measures aren’t protecting the interests of Florida’s children, families and taxpayers. For the state’s charter schools, accountability has been defined downward.