School funding referendums must now share with charter schools

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CAPITOL NEWS SERVICE) - Local communities that vote to increase property taxes to help pay for local schools will now have to share the money with charter schools.

School sign graphic by MGN.

The change is part of the tax package signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis Wednesday.

Carole Gauronskas with the Florida Education Association said it stifles the voices of voters.

“The referendum money that was voted on by the voter in the local district said we want to support, we want to tax ourselves for our local neighborhood schools,” said Gauronskas. "Tallahassee is overreaching. They are taking away the will of the voter and they're saying what you did doesn't matter in the voter's booth. We're telling you how you're going to spend that money going forward and you're going to split it with charter schools.”

Twenty-three counties that approved similar tax increases prior to July 1, 2019 are exempt from sharing the funding with charter schools.