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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Does voucher amendment hide the ball?



Did the Florida Taxation and Budget Reform Commission stack the deck with Amendment 9 – which deals with both public funding for private schools and the "65 percent plan" – when it put this title over the ballot question: "REQUIRING 65 PERCENT OF SCHOOL FUNDING FOR CLASSROOM INSTRUCTION; STATE'S DUTY FOR CHILDREN'S EDUCATION"?

Voucher opponents, who filed suit against Amendments 7 and 9 this morning in Tallahassee (see the St. Petersburg Times story on that here), say yes.

"A more neutral title that did not seek to capitalize on the perceived popularity of setting a 65% floor on funding for classroom instruction while 'hiding the ball' about the voucher proposal would have identified both of the proposals in the same way," the plaintiffs argue in another document filed this morning.

"For example, it might have identified only the general subject matter of both: 'Allocation of school district funding; state's duty for children's education.' Or, the TBRC could have written a title that described the chief purpose of both proposals: 'Requiring 65 percent of school funding for classroom instruction; allowing state funding of private schools.' "

To see the lawsuit, click here. To see related court filings, click here, here and here.

- Ron Matus, state education reporter

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 9:47am]


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