A divided state Supreme Court declined to immediately decide what could be the most far-reaching legal challenge facing a major Florida education law.
Justices sent the petition, filed last month by nine school boards, to the Leon County Circuit Court. The 4-3 ruling means the case would have to work its way through lower courts.
The school boards asked the Supreme Court to block HB 7069 in its entirety. Among other things, they argued it violated a constitutional rule that limits laws to a single subject.
The law created a new Schools of Hope program. It also funded teacher bonuses, overhauled Florida’s charter school and academic turnaround laws, shifted standardized testing schedules and mandated recess.
The school boards wanted to halt the law quickly. They argued the law requires them to share more revenue with charter schools early next year. They hoped to resolve the case before then.
In their order reassigning the case, high court justices asked the Leon County trial court “to consider expediting the petition as it appears to be time sensitive based upon the allegations.”
Leon County circuit courts are already hearing a pair of legal challenges that challenge specific parts of the law. Local school boards are bringing both of those cases.
In one of them, the Palm Beach County School Board wants a judge to halt a portion of the law requiring districts to share property tax revenue with charters. In that case, the school board also argues time is of the essence.