Posted May 20, 2019 12:53:50 A new school-to-prison pipeline is emerging in Florida’s Broward County, and it has many troubling implications for students, teachers, and parents.
A new report from Broward commissioners and advocacy groups is critical of the school system’s plan to privatize Broward High School, one of the county’s most popular and high-performing charter schools.
The new proposal, which would cut funding for more than 400 students and cut access to some classrooms by up to half, was presented as a way to reduce teacher turnover, reduce overcrowding, and increase academic achievement for students.
But it also would cut hundreds of thousands of dollars from the state’s annual school aid to families with low or no income and families with children in special education.
The proposal has drawn the ire of local parents and advocates, who argue that it would further cut funding to low-income families and reduce access to critical classrooms and services for students with disabilities.
Budgeting, funding, and accountability The plan, dubbed the Broward Charter Schools Equity Initiative, was created in early 2019 by the Browards Board of Education and the Department of Education.
It was approved by the commission’s full board, which meets annually.
It would give the countywide district the authority to sell more than a quarter of its assets to private companies for up to $2.7 billion, but the plan is being met with criticism from Browards parents, advocates, and local officials.
Broward parents, for example, have been voicing concerns about the plan for months.
“This is the latest iteration of a strategy that is designed to take Broward from a community that has been resilient and resilient, to a city that is in dire need of reform and a county that is being left behind,” said Brenda Williams, president of the Florida Federation of Teachers.
A recent survey by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity found that about 75 percent of Broward residents support a school system that gives more autonomy to the school district.
The plan’s opponents include the Browes, who say it would threaten their ability to educate their children, and community leaders who have opposed it.
In February, the Browardo School Board voted to approve the plan.
But in September, commissioners voted to block the plan from taking effect.
Since then, the plan has been met with opposition from a range of advocacy groups.
Broward parents have also filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging the plan, saying it would cause financial harm to parents.
For its part, the Florida Legislature has also rejected proposals to sell school assets, saying that would amount to unconstitutional public financing of private education.
In December, the school board approved the plan again, this time to transfer the bulk of the assets to a private company.
This time, it also approved the sale of the Brows district’s assets to the company, which is owned by the private company Education Management.
With a $4.2 billion budget deficit, Broward is on the brink of a financial crisis.
But the new plan is unlikely to bring much relief.
The district has been facing a shortfall of about $300,000 a year, with the bulk going to salaries and pension payments for teachers.
According to the Brower School District, it has $858 million in debt.
The Broward school system has already faced financial challenges in the past, with a $1.9 billion deficit in the 2016-2017 fiscal year.
School board members have said the plan will be completed within a year and the funds will be used for other district needs, including expanding classes and preparing for the 2018-19 school year.
The plan is expected to create more than 1,200 jobs and improve academic performance for students at Broward schools, according to the department.
But a report by the American Civil Liberties Union found that in the first year of the plan the district would be unable to meet the needs of its most vulnerable students, including students with severe disabilities.
The ACLU report noted that the district could not ensure that children who do not meet the state requirements for special education, or who cannot participate in school activities due to health issues, would be able to participate in classes, or that the state would provide sufficient resources for them to participate.
Other Broward officials have expressed concerns about other impacts, including that the plan would increase overcrowding at some of the district’s schools and would reduce access for students who have disabilities.
A report from the American Federation of State, County, Municipal, and Workers’ Employees, a public interest advocacy group, estimated that the proposal would have a negative impact on education, including on students with physical and mental disabilities, students with learning disabilities, and students with intellectual disabilities.
In the first quarter of 2020, the state reported that 4,569 students with special needs were in Broward Public Schools, up from 2,929 in the same quarter last year.
As part of the effort to address the