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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Will they challenge?



In mid-October, a month after taking up the debate, the State Board of Education decided not to grant the exclusive right to authorize local charter schools to the vast majority of the 40 school districts that requested that right.

Just three county districts - Sarasota, Orange and Polk - won sole authorization rights.

Now several of those that lost are considering whether to sue the state. About 15 members of the Florida School Boards Association met to discuss the issue on Monday, the Miami Herald reports. The Palm Beach School Board - by many accounts one of the most peeved at the State Board decision - is scheduled to decide whether to sue later this week, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

At issue is what some say is the clear language of the Florida Constitution, Article IX, which states that local school boards "shall operate, control and supervise all free public schools within the school district." That provision, they say, is at odds with the law that creates the Florida Schools of Excellence Commission to allow charter schools - which are public schools - that a local district does not approve.

The FSBA talked about suing when the law first passed. But it was advised to wait until it had something tangible to sue over, rather than just a concept. That time, apparently, has come.

For more information on the exclusive control issue from the Department of Education, click here. For more Gradebook coverage of the topic, including interviews with FSBA executive director Wayne Blanton and bill sponsor Rep. John Legg, click here.

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


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