Letters to the Editor

Schools budget

Miami Shores Mayor Alice Burch is mistaken in asserting that Miami-Dade County Public Schools urged PTA/PTSA members to speak out against HB 873. (Charter-school funding, March 6) On the contrary, Miami-Dade County Council PTA/PTSA itself issued the call to action, which was based on longstanding Florida PTA position statements:

“The Florida PTA believes that the needs of public school districts should be the first priority of PECO funding.”

“Charter schools must not deplete funding from existing public schools.”

Of note: The Senate’s bill on charter school capital outlay funding (SB 524) contains no language requiring districts to share local property tax capital outlay revenues with charter schools.

The Legislative Budget Conference Committee agreed Sunday to allocate $75 million each in PECO funding for charters and traditional public schools. If $75 million, plus funding through other government sources, private and nonprofit organizations, and municipalities is insufficient, perhaps we should all unite in looking at alternate ways to meet the capital needs of both charter and traditional public schools.

Nancy Lawther, vice president, Advocacy and Legislation, Miami-Dade County Council PTA/PTSA