What originally caught our eye on Florida’s SB 1028 was the expansion of authorizing privileges to higher education institutions. Technically, colleges in Florida were already allowed to authorize charter lab schools, but SB 1028 would allow colleges to authorize charters from across districts.
When it comes to authorizer types, NACSA believes that good authorizing is about function more than form; there is no one particular authorizing option that works best in all circumstances. Good authorizing, irrespective of type, requires a relentless focus on quality. By expanding the authorizing role colleges can play, it will be more important than ever for every authorizer in Florida to commit to national best practices and standards, to communicate exceptionally well with each other, and to ensure they have the capacity and expertise necessary to ensure excellence for ALL students.
It was wrong for legislators to tack on a discriminatory amendment during the “11th hour” to SB 1028. Transgender students are valued members of communities across the country, attending all kinds of schools in Florida– including charter schools–and they deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, both on and off the field.