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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

The state responds in charter case

Gavel Lawyers for the State Board of Education have fired back in the lawsuit where 14 school districts including Pinellas, Pasco and Hernando contend that they, and not the state, should have authority over the charter schools in their counties. The state contends that the districts' main argument, that the Florida Constitution grants them the sole control over all public schools in their bounds, creates a slippery slope that doesn't take into account reality and could lead to increasing litigation:

The education code is replete with provisions requiring close state-level involvement with public schools. If the Legislature's prerogative were narrowed, much of the code would be impacted and litigation would multiply.

Further, the state argues that the law creating the Florida Schools of Excellence Commission doesn't take away school district powers, anyway:

Significantly, the new law did not diminish the district school boards' authority to oversee charter schools under the pre-existing charter school law (§ 1002.33, Fla. Stat.); school boards retain the same authority to receive applications and to authorize charter schools. The Commission only has "concurrent" authority to authorize charter schools.

It's a lengthy answer to the original complaint. If you want more, read the full brief here. Enjoy.

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 9:42am]


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