Education Lawsuits Status

The LWVFL Education Advocacy Team has closely followed these lawsuits that directly relate to League Education positions.

CURRENT LAWSUITS:

Quality of Education

1998, 72% of voters approved an amendment (Article IX) to the Florida Constitution mandating that the State has a paramount duty to provide a “uniform, efficient, safe, secure and high quality” system of free public schools.

  1. November 2009: Citizens for Strong Schools Lawsuit filed. A Second Amended Complaint was filed. This lawsuit is awaiting a hearing by the Florida Supreme Court.   Click here for the filing.
  2.  For updated information Citizens for Strong Schools  Click here for more information.

Local Control by Elected School Boards

As of September 2017:  School boards in fourteen districts have voted to file a lawsuit over the passage of HB 7069. The legal basis is related to allegations that the bill violates the constitutional authority of local districts by the State legislature. Action on this bill is TBA. Click here for more information.

RECENT LAWSUITS

Voucher Lawsuits:  Click here  

Charter Expansion:  Click here  

Florida Tax Credit Scholarships and Vouchers

The Florida Supreme Court ruled in 2006 that taxes could not be used to provide scholarships to private schools.  Lawmakers quickly devised an indirect method to accomplish the same thing. Lawsuits followed.

  1. August 2014: Florida Tax Credit (FTC) Scholarships: McCall vs. Scott et al. The League joined the FEA as a plaintiff. The complaint contended that the FTC scholarship program was unconstitutional under Article IX of the Florida constitution and harmed public education. In January 2017, the Florida Supreme Court declined.
  2. December 31, 2014:  The Faase vs. Scott et al lawsuit was dismissed, refiled and thrown out. http://www.wctv.tv/home/headlines/Floridas-main-voucher-program-continues-to-grow-275928241.html  This is the suit based on the logrolling complaint against the manner in which SB850 was passed to expand the FTC scholarships and voucher expansions called Personal Learning Accounts students with disabilities. This same legislative maneuver was used in the 2017 legislative session to pass HB 7069.

Charter School Purpose

Florida Statutes Section 1002.33 (b). Charter schools shall fulfill the following purposes: 1. Improve student learning and academic achievement. 2. Increase learning opportunities for all students… 3. Encourage the use of innovative learning methods. 4. Require the measurement of learning outcomes.

  1. September 2017: School Board of Palm Beach County vs. Florida Charter Educational Foundation. The Florida Supreme Court declined to hear the case based on lack of jurisdiction.   The issue of the charter purpose was not considered.

 

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