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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

FEA files lawsuit to stop Blaine Amendment changes



The Florida Education Association and some supporters have filed a lawsuit in Leon County today to stop an effort to remove the Blaine Amendment from Florida's constitution.

The Blaine Amendment is used to prohibit the spending of state tax money on private religious institutions.

Lawmakers who pressed for the vote argued that it would allow for more religious freedom in Florida, and that state money already goes to many church-related functions such as hospitals and charitable aid.

The FEA and others have contended that deleting the provisions would open the door to pouring taxpayer funds into vouchers for religious schools. They now argue the ballot summary for the 2012 referendum is misleading and unclear.

“This is a shady way of opening the door for school vouchers for all," FEA president Andy Ford said in a news release. "Throughout the nation, voters have repeatedly rejected voucher initiatives, which would weaken our public schools. The leadership of the Legislature realized this, so they approved an amendment whose ballot title, “Religious Freedom,” and summary are misleading."

See the full complaint here.

[Last modified: Wednesday, July 20, 2011 9:24am]


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