News & Features » News

Bill of goods: House Bill 325 – School Safety

Bills filed for the 2013 legislative session in Tallahassee that we think you should know about




SPONSORED BY: Joe Saunders, D-Orlando


What it says: HB 373 forbids contracts for employees or vendors of charter schools from extending beyond the terms of a school's charter contract (typically with a public school district). It also restricts compensation and
provides for the closure of charter schools under certain circumstances.

What we say: Saunders wrote this bill as a reaction to a controversy surrounding North Star High School, a charter school in Saunders' district that was shut down by its own board for ineffective educational practices (bad grades, low graduation rates). When the school was closed, it had to honor a four-year contract with its principal that included a $310,000 annual salary and an early-termination guarantee of 85 percent of four years' worth of that salary.

North Star is just the latest of the state's charter school horror stories – some are using state money for doing little more than holding kids in strip malls – yet the Republican legislature still promotes charter schools as the wave of the future. These restrictions should be common sense.

Odds of passage: Well, the bill already has a Senate co-sponsor (Geraldine Thompson, D-Orlando) and has been assigned to several committees. It should pass, because it's hard to argue in favor of corruption.


We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.