One by one, school districts are stepping up to fight the State Board of Education's decision to deny them the exclusive authority to grant or deny charter school contracts. Pinellas, Pasco, Hernando and Hillsborough, as well as several others including Miami-Dade, Duval and Palm Beach have voted to ask the board to overturn the State Board's ruling.
More than that, a group of them is working with lawyers to determine whether - more likely when - to sue the state over the constitutionality of the law that creates the Florida Schools of Excellence Commission as an alternative to local control of charters.
They have until Dec. 3 to file their notice to appeal the State Board decision. But "there never is a deadline for challenging constitutional language," says Wayne Blanton, executive director of the Florida School Boards Association, which is spearheading the lawsuit drive.
Blanton tells the Gradebook that several superintendents and school board lawyers will meet in Tampa next week to plot out strategy.
"Then we're going to file," he says. "My guess is, it will be some time in December or early January."
Related story: Lawsuits may decide future of Florida charter schools, Sun-Sentinel, 11/30/2007