"We are here because we want equitable funding," said Sallie Haney, 17, who attends North Bay Haven Charter Academy in Panama City. "Charter schools are technically public schools. The fact that some public schools get more money than others isn't fair."
Charter schools, which are run by private governing boards, do get public dollars for things like teacher salaries and educational materials. But unlike traditional public schools, they cannot levy tax dollars for building and maintenance.
In the past, charter schools have gotten one-time allocations from the Public Education Capital Outlay fund. Advocates, however, are hoping to secure recurring revenue from the state general fund that can support charter schools' capital needs.