A sweeping lawsuit that argues Florida failed to adequately fund its public education system should be amended so that the state’s support of voucher programs and charter schools can also be challenged, attorneys for the plaintiffs said today. They have asked the court to allow them to amend the lawsuit, filed in 2009.
The lawsuit — with the Orlando-based Fund Education Now as one of the plaintiffs — argues Florida has failed to provide its students with a “uniform” and “high quality” public education demanded in the Florida Constitution.
The original lawsuit cited shrinking budgets, low graduation rates and a faulty school accountability system, among other problems.
The amended complaint says Florida hasn’t funded its pre-K program adequately and has improperly allowed charter schools and two other choice programs, the Tax-Credit Scholarship Program and the McKay Scholarship program, to flourish.
“Florida is failing our public school students,” said Jodi Siegel, executive director of Southern Legal Counsel, which has brought the lawsuit. “The State does not provide sufficient resources and appropriate services for public school children, especially children from low income families or those with special learning needs.”