Florida Supreme Court funding case ruling: Just a beginning
The Florida Supreme Court's decision not to accept jurisdiction on parents' lawsuit challenging the state's education funding adequacy marks the end of three years of procedural wrangling over a case that lawmakers clearly didn't want to see go to a judge.
But the court's action in no way gives a hint as to which way the case will go.
"It is just a procedural thing," said Jodi Siegel, executive director of the Southern Law Center, which brought the suit along with a couple of other groups. "They did not make any kind of opinion on the merits."
Siegel did not take the court's move lightly, though.
"It was an important step," she told the Gradebook. "They've allowed us to go forward at the trial level after three years of trying to get to present our case."
She noted that the state took some extraordinary steps, including seeking a writ of prohibition, to stop the case. Such efforts prolonged the battle on pure process. Over time, Siegel acknowledged, some of the facts at hand might have changed. But "we surely don't think in the three years the situation has improved to the point where we don't need the case any more," she added.
The complainants expect to spend the next few months regrouping, reviewing facts and getting their case prepared for trial. No date has yet been set.