Plaintiffs appeal ruling in Florida tax credit scholarship lawsuit

Travis Pillow

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.

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Carl Otto June 15, 2015 - 10:48 pm

The teachers can’t admit that private scholl is so much better than public school. They have their tenure, why should they have to teach? The 2 grade or tougher private school with step-up for the poor, proves that instead of dumbing the school, make students stretch for it and they will excell. Look at Dr. Ben Carson. He went from desperately poor and F student to neurosurgeon because his single parent mother required it. Well the school system and liberals arn’t doing anybody a service by dumbing the school. It shows that they are bigots who think others can’t compete. Poor people must be dumb so we will make the schools available to them dumb down and pretend to give them an education. They probably don’t want aid for poor kids so they won’t be in the private schools with their kids. And they want the public to pay the public teachers union wage so the teachers will vote for them. So your children’s education is an election pawn My third grade grandson scored 6 grade, so we put him in private where he is just 3rd grade average.

Fran July 9, 2015 - 1:37 pm

My 13 year old granddaugher would have failed 6th grade if it were not for the private school we put her in through step-up. She was well on her way to delinquency had this program not been available to her. She is now enterinal 8th grade and has scored in the 75%tile on her achievement tests.

I was so happy to be able to apply and get this scholarship for her. She is now a totally different teen!

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