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  1. Gradebook

Gradebook podcast: Should Amendment 8 remain on Florida’s November ballot?

Leon County Judge John Cooper hears arguments, and plans to issue an order on Monday.
Leon County Judge John Cooper hears arguments Aug. 17, 2018, on whether to leave Amendment 8 on the November ballot. [The Florida Channel]

The Leon County Courthouse was the scene Friday for the first of what looks to be several showdowns over the fate of Amendment 8, a Constitution Revision Commission proposal to change portions of the state constitution's education article.

The proposal aims to do three things — set school board term limits, embed civics education in the constitution, and allow the Legislature to create a public school authorizer separate from school boards.

The League of Women Voters contends that the ballot title and summary are misleading, and also don't convey the full potential outcome of the measure. The CRC and the state refute the point, saying the aim is to remove the school board "monopoly" over public education and the voters should have a right to decide.

Judge John Cooper asked pointed questions of both sides as he tried to come up with a decision as to whether the item should remain on the November ballot. He said he hopes to have a decision by Monday morning — the same day that the state is scheduled to respond to a separate case challenging Amendment 8 and five others in the state Supreme Court.

In today's podcast, reporters Emily Mahoney and Jeff Solochek discuss Friday's court hearing and some of the more interesting arguments that emerged. To watch the full hearing, visit The Florida Channel.

Related coverage: Lawsuit challenges education amendment on Florida ballot