Dear Leaders and Staff,
The Florida Supreme Court ruled today that the plaintiffs that challenged the constitutionality of the legislature’s Florida Tax Scholarship (FTS) program do not ‘have standing.’ Four of the Supreme Court’s justices agreed not to hear oral arguments on the lawsuit challenging the program. We are, to say the least, very disappointed and frustrated with this decision.
Attached is the press release the FEA sent out earlier today along with some talking points which you can use in responding to any inquiries. Today’s decision by the Florida Supreme Court can be found here.
I want to be clear: this decision has nothing to do with whether the FTS voucher program is constitutional or not. It has everything to do with denying parents, teachers, and educational organizations the ability to access the courts on constitutional issues.
This decision has implications far beyond the question of vouchers. Limiting taxpayers standing and the standing of any individual experiencing losses as a result of unconstitutional legislation can have far reaching consequences. That is frightening.
What I promise you, our members and Florida’s students, is that we are not backing down from the fight to protect and improve our public education system. We will continue to fight for every student to be able to attend a great public school. We will continue to advocate on behalf of ALL students and fight programs that create injustice in the system. We will continue to fight for our members to ensure that they are respected and have what they need to continue to give our students the education they deserve.
It’s no secret why some parents sometimes embrace these voucher schemes. They move their kids to these programs because they want smaller class size, safe schools and less and more sensible testing. That’s exactly what we want for public schools.
Joanne M. McCall, President
Florida Education Association
NEA, AFT, AFL-CIO