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A CASE FOR HIGH QUALITY EDUCATION

These are not statistics that Florida should be proud of:

  • There were 631 D and F schools in 2014, which increased each year of the FCAT 2.0 (2011-2014).
  • The graduation achievement gap has increased between White/Black and White/Hispanic since 2009.
  • Only 19% of Florida’s students were college ready on the 2013 ACT.
  • In 2013, 15,628 Third graders and 48,453 high schoolers were not promoted to the next grade.
  • On NAEP, a national test, only 39% of 4th graders, 33% of 8th graders and 36% of 12th graders were proficient in reading in 2013. And only 41% of 4th graders, 31% of 8th graders and 19% of 12th graders were proficient in math.
  • On the FCAT 2.0 for 2011-2014, looking at all students in Grades 3-8, there has been no improvement in Math.
  • On the 2014 FCAT 2.0 for Grade 3, only 39% of Blacks, 52% Hispanic, 47% Free and Reduced Lunch, 26% of students with disabilities, and 19% English Language Learners were on grade level for Reading.
  • On the 2014 FCAT 2.0 for Grade 8, only 29% of Blacks, 43% Hispanic, 11% English Language Learners, 37% Free and Reduced Lunch, and 19% of students with disabilities passed Science.

THIS IS NOT THE HIGH QUALITY EDUCATION THAT FLORIDA’S VOTERS DESIRE.

In 1998, 72% of voters approved an amendment to the Florida Constitution mandating that the State has a paramount duty to provide a "uniform, efficient, safe, secure and high quality" public education system.

OUR 2.6 MILLION STUDENTS DESERVE BETTER.

Southern Legal Counsel is taking the case for a quality education for our children to Tallahassee. Florida’s citizens told state officials they demand better education, and now they want to hold them to it. In 2009, two citizen organizations and six low income and minority public school students, parents and a grandmother filed a suit seeking a declaration that Florida is not meeting its constitutional mandate. The goal of this litigation is to improve education with positive policy changes and increased funding. Trial begins March 14, 2016.

The suit is called Citizens for Strong Schools, et al. v. State Bd. of Educ., Case No. 2009-CA-4534 (2d Jud. Cir., J. Fulford). The appellate decision is Haridopolos v. Citizens for Strong Schools, et al., 78 So. 2d 605 (Fla. 1st DCA 2011), cert. denied, Case No. SC12-216 (Fla. S. Ct., Sept. 11, 2012). You may be interested in reading the Second Amended Complaint and the First District Court of Appeals opinion.

TIMELINE OF CASE

HELP SLC MAKE THE CASE FOR A QUALITY EDUCATION.

SLC’s Education Protection Fund will help pay the costs of proving that Florida’s educational system is not high quality. To support this legal challenge, please donate by check payable to SLC Education Protection Fund and send to 1229 NW 12th Avenue, Gainseville, FL 32601. Credit card payments are accepted at the donate link below. All Education Protection Funds will be separately accounted for and go directly to this legal challenge. Southern Legal Counsel, Inc. is a charitable organization under IRS §501(c)(3) as a not-for-profit public interest law firm.


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SOUTHERN LEGAL COUNSEL, INC., A NON-PROFIT FLORIDA CORPORATION, IS REGISTERED WITH THE FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND CONSUMER SERVICES. A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION, #CH13498, AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE 800-435-7352 WITHIN THE STATE. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE. SLC IS A FEDERALLY RECOGNIZED 501(C)3 ORGANIZATION.