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  1. Florida

Florida Supreme Court tosses Palm Beach case on charter school approvals

Published Sep. 19, 2017

With a simple two-sentence memo, the Florida Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld the state Board of Education's power to overturn school board denials of charter school applications.

The court declined to accept juridsiction over the Palm Beach County School Board's case, which challenged the state's authority, and instead left intact the January ruling of the Fourth District Court of Appeal that affirmed the state's role.

In that January decision, the appellate court found the charter school application appeals law to be constitutional, contrary to the Palm Beach district's arguments. The School Board had denied an applicant, explaining that it did not offer innovative techniques and it already had one failing school in the district.

The applicant asked the state to overturn the school board's decision, and the State Board did so. The district contended that the state overstepped its bounds by acting in a realm constitutionally assigned to school boards.

"We hold that the charter school statute's appeal provision is facially constitutional. Contrary to the School Board's argument, the State Board appeal process does not infringe upon the School Board's constitutional power to 'operate, control and supervise all free public schools within the school district,'" the appellate court wrote.

The Florida Supreme Court denied the request to review the ruling, and stated no petition for rehearing will be considered.

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