The Florida Legislature
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Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability

Charter Schools Need Improved Academic Accountability and Financial Management, Report No. 99-48, April 2000
Full report in PDF format

  • Florida’s 113 charter schools serve 18,255 students and provide opportunities for educational innovation and school choice.  Many charter schools serve at-risk and low-income students.  Schools report positive student progress but need stronger accountability—a need shared with other tax-supported organizations.  Two-thirds of charter schools are not subject to Florida’s A+ school accountability system because they serve special student populations that are not addressed by the A+ system.  Further, the academic goals and objectives established in charter schools’ contracts with school districts are often not measurable. 
  • Most charter schools have steady or growing enrollments demonstrating that parents support their continued operation.  However, some have struggled with managing their operations and maintaining enrollment.  These schools need to adopt good business practices to improve their financial condition and viability.
  • To minimize barriers to the creation and continued operation of charter schools, we recommend that the Legislature strengthen the role of charter schools’ governing boards and consider options regarding sponsors and funding.  We also recommend that the Department of Education provide assistance to school districts to improve the academic accountability and management of charter schools.
  • The Commissioner of Education provided a written response to our preliminary report.  In his response he described actions the department is taking to implement our recommendations. 

Which Government Program Summaries contain related information?

Public Schools (K-12 Education)

What other OPPAGA-related materials are available?

  • Report No. 08-04  Steps Taken to Improve Charter School Financial Management and Performance Accountability; Additional Action Needed, published in January 2008.
  • Report No. 05-22 OPPAGA Report: Charter School Review Technical Report, published in April 2005.
  • Report No. 05-21 OPPAGA Report: Charter School Performance Comparable to Other Public Schools; Stronger Accountability Needed, published in April 2005.
  • Report No. 05-11 OPPAGA Report: Charter School Application Requirements Are Reasonable; Financial Management Problematic, published in March 2005.
  • Report No. 04-41 Progress Report: K-12 Accountability System and Student Achievement Improved, But Challenges Remain, published in June 2004.
  • Report No. 02-22 Progress Report: Charter School Management Strengthened, But Improved Academic Accountability Needed, published in March 2002.
  • Report No. 01-22 Justification Review: Kindergarten Through Twelfth Grade Public Education Program, published in April 2001.
  • Report No. 00-07 Progress Report: Florida Actions Should Improve Student Performance in High-Poverty Schools, published in August 2000.

Copies of this report in print or alternate accessible format may be obtained by telephone (850/488-0021), by FAX (850/487-9213), in person, or by mail (OPPAGA Report Production, Claude Pepper Building, Room 312, 111 W. Madison St., Tallahassee, FL 32399-1475).
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