House ready to pass 'Schools of Hope' bill

The Republican-dominated House is poised Thursday to approve a controversial plan that would lead to the creation of what leaders have dubbed "schools of hope" in areas with low-performing traditional public schools.

The House took up the issue (HB 5105) on Wednesday and positioned it procedurally for a vote.

Democrats voiced opposition to the $200 million plan, which involves non-profit charter schools moving into areas where traditional public schools have repeatedly received low grades.

In part, Democrats argued money should go to traditional public schools.

Bill sponsor Chris Latvala, R-Clearwater, repeatedly referred Wednesday to the low-performing schools as "failure factories."

After the expected approval Thursday, the issue will become part of negotiations between the House and Senate, which has not moved forward with the "schools of hope" idea.