November 13, 2017

Florida Charter School Conference in Review

The 2017 Florida Charter School Conference is a wrap, and having had some time to reflect on this year’s flurry of activities, I can safely say this one was perhaps the best yet!

A clear topic trend at the conference seemed to be centered on facilities needs for charter schools. By my count, there were at least four different breakout sessions discussing different challenges and best practices around facilities.

One of those sessions was even hosted by Charter School Capital, titled “I Need a New Facility for My School, Now What.” Aptly named, panelists Thom Jackson, President and CEO of EdisonLearning Inc., Mike Morley, President and CEO of American Charter Development, and Stuart Ellis, President and CEO of Charter School Capital, walked through funding options, challenges and best practices for schools finding themselves in need of a new or updated facility. If you missed the session, you can find the slides and recording here.

I had the pleasure of meeting onsite with leaders from charter management organizations, education management organizations, independent charter schools, and others. While the funding needs and visions for these organizations differ, they are all rooted in and motivating passion for the charter school movement, and were inspiring to speak with.

I even found some time to attend sessions outside the Charter School Capital content, and particularly enjoyed the “Legal Update for Florida Charter Schools” presentation provided by Daniel Woodring, of Woodring Law Firm. His session covered lawsuits over Florida House Bill 7069, information on what happens to persistently failing schools, legal issues for charter schools in Florida with respect to public records, among others.

All in all, this year’s conference was a hit. I am sincerely looking forward to the return of the Florida Charter School Conference next year in Orlando, Florida at the Caribe Royale Resort and Convention Center. Mark your calendars now for October 16 – 18, 2018 and I hope to see you there!

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