Florida Supreme Court Rejects Challenge To State Ed Funding

Jan 7, 2019
Originally published on January 4, 2019 3:41 pm

The Florida Supreme Court has rejected a lawsuit over whether the legislature is upholding its constitutional obligation to provide a high quality system of education. That means the long-running fight spearheaded by the group Citizens for Strong Schools, is over.

In 2016, Leon County Circuit Judge George Reynolds dismissed the lawsuit on the grounds the plaintiffs didn’t prove their case. he noted in his ruling there was not a correlation between funding and student performance, and that Florida students have made gains in national education benchmarks like NAEP, often called the “Nation’s Report Card.” 

In its ruling, the Florida Supreme Court noted the complexity of the education funding structure and said the matter is one for the legislature. It points out Education consumes most of the state’s general revenue, and there’s no definition for what a high quality system of education looks like.

Dissenting justices Barbara Pariente, Fred Lewis and Peggy Quince are critical of the ruling, noting that many poor and minority students are don’t get the same quality of education as others. Pariente wrote the ruling quote “eviscerates” a 1998 constitutional amendment calling on Florida to provide a safe and high quality system of public education. 

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