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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Parents continue challenge of Florida's third-grade retention law

Hailey Everett, Maddison Hohman and Madelynn Kinkade sit in the office at Chocachatti Elementary in August, waiting to see if they can begin fourth grade.

Times file photo

Hailey Everett, Maddison Hohman and Madelynn Kinkade sit in the office at Chocachatti Elementary in August, waiting to see if they can begin fourth grade.

5

April

A group of parents from Hernando County and across Florida is asking the Florida Supreme Court to reconsider their challenge of the state's third-grade retention law.

Their attorney, Andrea Mogensen, filed a request for review Wednesday of a recent 1st District Court of Appeals decision tossing out their complaint. "The decision announces a rule of law that conflicts with and misapplies existing precedent of the Florida Supreme Court on the same questions of law," Mogensen said.

The 1st DCA ruled that the parents should have brought their suit in local jurisdictions and not in Leon County. It also said they did not meet any requirements for injunctive relief.

The court further made strong statements in support of the state's testing and promotion system.

Even though a decision would not affect the plaintiffs' children any longer, as most have moved into fourth grade some other way after refusing to test, the families decided to persist in their fight. In social media, they said they were pursuing the issue so other children did not have to endure what theirs did.

They gave themselves a Tuesday deadline to collect enough donations to pay their legal fees, and they made it. They're using the tag #180dayscount to highlight their opposition to using a single test to decide a third grader's future.

Lawmakers have filed bills aiming to end the mandatory retention of third graders who do not pass a state reading test, or earn a good cause exemption. Those bills have not been considered.

[Last modified: Wednesday, April 5, 2017 5:25pm]

    

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