TALLAHASSEE – State officials are facing a second lawsuit filed in as many weeks accusing them of shortchanging public schools in violation of a state constitutional provision requiring a “high quality” education for Florida’s children.
Several parents and two advocacy groups – Citizens for Strong Schools and Fund Education Now – sued Wednesday in state Circuit Court here.
“This suit simply asks the question: ‘Do we have high quality education in this state today?’ and asks the court to answer that question,” said former Florida House Speaker Jon Mills, who is part of the plaintiffs’ legal team.
The suit also argues the answer to that question is no.
“There’s a lot of evidence that we are not in the top echelon,” said Mills, also former dean of the University of Florida’s law school.
The suit contends that the state isn’t spending enough money on public schools, but it asks only that the court order legislative leaders and education officials to come up with a plan to meet the high quality requirement.
The American Civil Liberties Union filed a similar complaint Nov. 5 that the state violated the constitutional provision in Palm Beach County, citing low graduation rates there.
The Tallahassee suit is statewide in scope. It also cites low graduation rates as well as Florida’s low rankings in education spending and teacher pay and a high rate of school violence.
“Obviously, those people are well intended and I would encourage them to help us do better for Florida’s kids,” said Gov. Charlie Crist, but he said he wasn’t sure that he agreed with their argument.
Assistant professor Kyaien Conner said Gov. Ron DeSantis’ initial rejection of Advanced Placement (AP) African American studies course in Florida could be a precursor to restrictions on critical race theory (CRT) classes in the state’s public universities and colleges. College Board released a revised version of the course on Wednesday, omitting some scholars and figures […]
USF Health will comply with Gov. Ron DeSantis’ request for Florida’s 12 public universities to send information about students who sought gender-affirming care in the last five years, according to Senior Associate Vice President Donna Petersen. “We’ve been asked by the state to provide some information and we will respond. That’s all we know at […]
USF is celebrating Black Heritage Month by coordinating new events that will highlight Black culture, music and education on Black life. Pilar Walker, coordinator for Black Student Success, said her vision is to connect with students in a way that makes them feel seen and appreciated while also educating the general USF student body about […]
Following an announcement made by Gov. Ron DeSantis to investigate gender-affirming care procedures performed by Florida public universities, freshman communications and music studies double major Brooke Starz felt compelled to take a stand. Starz was one of 12 students handing out flyers linked to a petition for USF leadership to protect transgender students’ rights to […]
A crowd of students gasped and cheered in front of the Marshall Student Center on Tuesday as social media campus preacher Cindy Smock, known as “Sister Cindy,” evangelized the benefits of an abstinent lifestyle. “At UCF, [students] have mothers that are h*es. Does anyone here have a mother that’s a h*e? Some of them have […]
A pro-life demonstration in front of Cooper Hall on Tuesday sparked debates between students and the Students for Life of America (SFLA) members on whether life begins at conception or at birth. SFLA President Kristan Hawkins led an open floor discussion for questions from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Students lined up to speak with […]