Florida Court Rules Against Teachers Union In School Voucher Lawsuit

Aug 16, 2016

An appeals court says Florida's teacher union has no legal right to challenge the state's largest private school voucher program.

The 1st District Court of Appeal sided with an earlier decision to throw out the lawsuit filed by the Florida Education Association and others.

Last May, a Leon County Circuit Judge said the plaintiffs did not have legal standing.  The appeals court ruled that those who sued have not shown how the voucher program harms public schools.

The state program offers tax credits to businesses that donate to non-profits that provide private school scholarships to low-income students.

Union officials say the program is unconstitutional, because it steers what would otherwise be considered public money to private groups.

Supporters of the program argue the lawsuit represented an attack on school choice.

The voucher program was launched in 2001. This year, it’s estimated to provide about $447 million in scholarships to more than 78,000 students.

FEA president, Joanne McCall said the group is looking at the ruling and will determine later whether to appeal to the Florida Supreme Court.