Florida – August 28, 2018 – The State of Florida has asked the Florida Supreme Court to overturn a decision by a lower court to remove Amendment 8 from the November ballot. The Florida Charter School Alliance filed a brief in support of the state’s appeal along with the Florida Consortium of Public Charter Schools, as did the Urban Leagues of Miami and Central Florida. The Appeal will be heard this Wednesday, September 5.
Language in Amendment 8 supports term limit of eight consecutive years for school board members; allows the state government to operate, supervise, and control public schools not established by the school board; and would require the legislature to promote civic literacy in public education. On August 20, a court ruled that the ballot title and ballot summary were misleading, and blocked Amendment 8 from the ballot. The Appeal filed by the state argues that a Tallahassee Circuit Court judge erred in his decision to remove Amendment 8 from the ballot, explaining it will neither dilute “the essential role school boards play in authorizing” charter schools, nor “exclude district school boards from any role in establishing” them.
The Alliance and Consortium brief filed in support of the state’s appeal states that the organizations are in a “unique position to assist the Court in understanding the existing relationship between charter schools and the state’s school districts and how Amendment 8 maintains that status quo rather than alters it, while also granting the Legislature the flexibility to make future changes to public school options.” Our brief also argues that the “chief purpose of Amendment 8 is to ensure the state’s elected policymakers in the legislature have the flexibility to make policy decisions and provide innovative approaches to how future public schools are operated, controlled, and supervised.”
In their brief, the Urban League explained that “For far too long, minority children and children in poverty were sentenced to attend local public schools designated for their zip codes, but the introduction of Florida’s charter public schools and other school choice options has helped minority students break that cycle somewhat.”
The Florida Supreme Court scheduled oral arguments in the case at 2 p.m. Sept. 5, at the Fourth District Court of Appeal Courthouse, 110 S. Tamarind Avenue, West Palm Beach, FL 33401.
Click below to read the briefs filed by the Florida Charter School Alliance/Florida Consortium of Public Charter School and the Urban League: