The Broward County lawsuit over HB 7069 and Schools of Hope was dismissed by Judge Cooper in the Leon County Court. No written decision is yet available. Judge Cooper, according to the Miami Herald, ruled that districts did not have the constitutional authority to direct facility funding that is locally generated. Thus, charters could share in locally generated funding. In addition, the law allows charter systems to be their own Local Education Agency which makes them independent from local school boards. Schools of Hope which are charter take overs of low performing public schools were ruled to be outside local district control. The bill also includes a state designated standard charter contract that has no locally inserted provisions. Districts cannot amend the contract to designate local needs be observed. Finally, some changes in local district control of federal funds for disadvantaged students remain.
While Judge Cooper seemed sympathetic to the school districts’ case, he said his court did not have jurisdiction to overturn the law passed by the legislature, even if, as a local observer reported, the law was “stupid”. The expectation is that the case will be appealed to a higher court.
For a brief review of the HB 7069 lawsuits see: How many HB 7069 lawsuits are there?.