Broward County school board sues FDE over education bill

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - The Broward County school board is suing the State of Florida over a new education bill that they say is a weapon against traditional public schools.

The school board announced Wednesday that it is now taking action after that bill was signed into law in June by Gov. Rick Scott.

“When a robber goes in to do a strong arm robbery, they normally have a weapon,” said school board member Dr. Rosalind Osgood, “so I see this policy as a weapon that’s being used to take away from public education.”

The law redirects more than 400 million state dollars to charter schools.

Back in May, 7News reported on Mater Academy, a charter school in Hialeah Gardens, for directing their students to write letters in support of the bill and in return, they would receive extra credit.

Related: Charter school assigns supporting education bill as extra credit

The new law also will gives charter schools access to funds raised with property taxes, which is something school board members said will cost them more than $100 million in the first five years in Broward County.

“I believe we strongly have to stand up to fight against public dollars going to private hands,” said board member Laurie Rich Levinson.

They unanimously voted in a meeting Wednesday to sue the Florida Department of Education. Board members said the new law in unconstitutional.

“We know what the situation in Tallahassee is,” said school board member Ann Murray. “It isn’t about our children, it isn’t about the voters, it’s about the money.”

As of Wednesday, Broward County Schools is the only district that has filed a lawsuit and board members hope other districts will follow, including Miami-Dade, whose members have said they are weighing their options.

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