Florida Supreme Court Rules On Controversial Education Amendment

40 minutes ago
Originally published on September 7, 2018 5:12 pm

A controversial education amendment will not go to voters in November.

In a 4-3 decision, Florida's Supreme Court has ruled that Amendment 8 should remain off the ballot.

The court upheld the order of a Leon County Judge who decreed the measure's title and summary to be misleading.

The lawsuit was brought by the League of Women Voters who argued the amendment bundled together too many issues.

The amendment contained several different proposals. The most controversial would have stripped control of charter schools from local school districts, leaving it the hands of the state.  Neither the title of the amendment nor its summary, used the words "charter schools."

In a news release the LWV said," we commend the court for taking swift action to protect the integrity of the ballot by removing a proposal that was blatantly and intentionally misleading. While all of the bundled proposals have the potential to be confusing, the backers of Amendment 8 took it beyond confusion to intentional deceit."

Amendment 8 was one of several measures approved by the Constitution Revision Commission, a 37-member panel which meets every 20 years to suggest changes to the state charter.

In a statement, Erika Donalds, a school choice advocate and the CRC commissioner who proposed the amendment said, "I am extremely disappointed that the justices made the wrong call in striking the Amendment from the ballot. We may have lost this battle, but it was a small one within the greater mission of bringing true education freedom to every family in Florida."

The court ruled that three other amendments will stay put. Those other ballot items would potentially ban greyhound racing, give new rights to the victims of crimes, and force every county in the state to have certain elected offices. 

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