By Jim Saunders
News Service of Florida
A Leon County circuit judge heard closing arguments Friday in a potentially far-reaching lawsuit that challenges whether the state has met a constitutional requirement to provide a “high quality” system of public schools.
Judge George Reynolds, who heard four weeks of testimony and arguments, described the case as a “difficult issue.” He did not rule Friday and said lawyers have until April 25 to file written arguments.
The lawsuit, led by a group called Citizens for Strong Schools, is rooted in a 1998 constitutional amendment that says it is a “paramount duty of the state to make adequate provision for the education of all children residing within its borders.” The amendment fleshed that out, in part, by saying adequate provision will be made for a “uniform, efficient, safe, secure, and high quality system” of public schools.
Citizens for Strong Schools argues that Florida has not complied and that the court should require the state to take steps to carry out the constitutional amendment. Continue Reading →