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Broward County school board agrees to pay charters

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TALLAHASSEE — Florida education officials on Wednesday acknowledged that the Broward County school board is complying with state law about charter school funding, after an investigation into whether the board had failed to share $80 million in tax revenue money with the schools.

State Education Commissioner Manny Diaz Jr. in a March 7 letter informed Broward County school officials that an investigation was being launched into whether the school board did not "properly" share revenue collected from a discretionary tax with charter schools in the district.

The state education board had been slated during a meeting Wednesday to "determine whether the District is unwilling or unable to comply and, if so, what actions should be taken to bring the Board into compliance." But Andrew King, general counsel for the state Department of Education, told the state board Wednesday that the school district on Tuesday agreed to a three-year payment plan to pay charter schools in the district.

The state board is expected to discuss the issue again during a July meeting.

The payment deal was agreed to the same day former Broward County schools superintendent Peter Licata announced he was retiring. The school board quickly replaced Licata with Howard Hepburn, who most recently served as deputy superintendent of teaching and learning, an announcement from the district said.

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