in one school district. I don't have the figures on other individual districts. This really shows Florida's priorities when it comes to education.
This is what has been allocated for building and maintenance this year. Even this is far better than what has been given out the last few years. For two years public schools got nothing, and charter schools got millions.
In working out a proposed state budget deal in the wee hours of the morning, state House and Senate leaders divvied up Public Education Capital Outlay money for such things as repairs and renovation this way:There wasn't room in the subject line to mention that lab schools got $1000 per student.
* $4.7 million, or $1,000 per student, for Florida Lab Schools, a small group of schools connected with universities across the state. They have about 4,700 students.
* $1.6 million, or about $133 per student, for Polk charter schools. They have about 12,000 students.
* $1.5 million, or about $18 per student, for the Polk County School District. It
has about 85,000 students, not counting those in charter schools.
After the budget agreement was worked out about 1 a.m. Tuesday, House Appropriations Chairman Seth McKeel, R-Lakeland, was receiving praise for his work to hold some projects together, like $700,000 for the city of Frostproof's water system.
One of the main charters in the county mentioned above is Seth McKeel charter group. It just so happens that Seth McKeel, chair of the House Appropriations, is on the Board of Directors at that charter school that bears his name. Just mentioning off hand.
This school once sent out a letter to parents saying that their children were not qualified to remain at their charter school. Turns out they were sending 12.5% of their students back to public schools.
And they bragged about their test scores all the while.
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Let me translate that answer into big boy speak: "You’re damn right we dump our difficult kids. In great numbers. And we’ll do it again. That’s our culture of achievement. And then we’ll brag about how different we are from traditional schools. Oh, and the magnet schools do it, so there."
How many dumped kids are we talking about? And who are they? Well, check out this sheet produced by the School District. Pay particular attention to the table at the top outlining transfer figures for the three McKeel schools.
In McKeel Academy, the junior-senior high in Lakeland with 1,042 students, 130 students left for regular Polk School District schools in the 2009-2010 school year. That’s 12.5 percent of its enrollment. South McKeel Academy, a K-7, rid itself of 77 kids, about 7 percent of its enrollment. That’s in a mostly elementary school, where kids are generally easier to deal with and American schools generally do pretty well.
Maybe their parents got a letter like the one Frank read at the School Board Meeting, stating, “Your child does not meet the criteria to be a McKeel student.”