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State education officials argue Florida Supreme Court shouldn’t hear challenge of charter school law

School districts haven’t found success in appeals courts so far.

Nine school districts want the Florida Supreme Court to toss parts of a law that created a new class of charter schools. But the Department of Education says the state’s highest court shouldn’t hear the law at all according to the Tampa Bay Times.

A brief filed by state attorneys questioned the legal course of the school districts’ case.

“Nowhere have Petitioners pointed to any language—much less a holding—from any case of this Court or any district court that evinces even a slight conflict. The issues in this case have been, and will continue to be, the subject of well-reasoned decisions of Florida’s district courts of appeal,” reads a brief from state attorneys.

“What Petitioners seek is an improper advisory opinion that the First District’s decision (and the precedent on which it relied) was wrongly decided.”

Two charter school organizations filed similar legislation earlier this week. Attorneys argued the state acted properly in passing the law.

“Acting upon its constitutional authority, the Legislature sought to remedy certain inequities and bring greater uniformity to Florida’s system of public education,” reads the brief from charter schools.

“The Petitioners still retain the authority to control and supervise the public charter schools within their district but must do so within the fairer framework established under HB 7069.”

But school districts have argued in their own case that the state stepped outside its powers and instituted unconstitutional mandates on local school boards when it comes to charter schools.

The School Boards in September filed a notice with the state Supreme Court that it wanted the law reviewed. The districts argue the state cannot require School Board to direct revenues to “Schools of Hope,” schools of last resort for those students not being served by traditional public schools.

Written By

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at jacobogles@hotmail.com.

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