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First District Court of Appeals Hears Lawsuit Against Florida Department of Education

July 18th, 2017 by Jake Stofan
A case against the Florida Department of Education was heard in the First District Court of Appeals this morning.
Citizens for Strong Schools and Fund Education Now filed a lawsuit against the DOE for failing to meet it’s constitutional duty, which requires the department to provide “a uniform, efficient, safe, secure, and high quality system of free public schools” to all of Florida’s 2.8 million students.
The plaintiffs argue disparities in the achievement level of low income students and students with disabilities.
The lawsuit was thrown out by a Circuit Court Judge last year, who said the plaintiff’s failed to prove there was sufficient evidence to suggest the DOE wasn’t upholding it’s constitutional commitment.
Representing both plaintiffs, attorney Jodi Siegel says she want the appeals court to send the case back to a trial court.
“High quality we think is definable and that the Legislature has already taken stabs at defining it and they’re not meeting it. Zero percent of kids with disabilities  in a county not achieving on the standard is not high quality,” said Siegel.
The Appeals Court gave no indication when they might issue a ruling, but expectation are the case will eventually be taken up by the Florida Supreme Court.

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