The Florida teachers union and other groups behind the lawsuit challenging Florida’s tax credit scholarship, the nation’s largest private school choice program, are appealing a judge’s ruling dismissing the case.
The Florida Education Association, the Florida PTA and other supporters of the lawsuit filed papers announcing the appeal this afternoon in a Tallahassee court.
Leon County Circuit Court Judge George Reynolds ruled last month that the plaintiffs did not have standing to bring the case because they could not show the program harms public schools. That question will now head to the First District Court of Appeal.
Standing has been a decisive issue in other state lawsuits dealing with tax credit scholarship programs.
Ron Meyer, an attorney for the Florida Education Association, has repeatedly said the remaining plaintiffs “feel they should get a ruling on the merits of the case.”
Two groups that backed the lawsuit when it was first filed in August, the Florida School Boards Association and the Florida Association of School Administrators, have since dropped out of the case.
Several families whose children use the scholarships have entered the legal fray to help the state defend the school choice program, which funds scholarships for nearly 70,000 low-income students.
Step Up For Students, which co-hosts this blog and employs the author of this post, helps administer the program.
“While we are disappointed the plaintiffs appealed the ruling, we will defend the interests of these children all the way to the Florida Supreme Court if we need to,” Howard Coker, an attorney for the scholarship families, said in a statement.