Pinellas Schools To Vote Tuesday On Proposed HB 7069 Lawsuit

Sep 18, 2017

The Pinellas County School Board is expected to vote Tuesday on whether or not to join a legal challenge to a controversial new education law.

If approved, Pinellas County would join several other school districts proposing to sue the state.

In a letter to the Pinellas County School Board, Superintendent Michael Grego wrote that at least 11 other school districts in Florida have voted to join as plaintiffs.

Critics allege that HB 7069, a 274-page law that went into effect on July 1, limits school boards of authority, especially regarding the creation and funding of charter schools in Florida.

Much of the controversy centers on what's become known as "schools of hope," which make it easier for charter schools to open near academically struggling traditional public schools. It also requires school districts to share taxpayer money with charter schools for construction.

In the recommendation, Grego says that the cost of the lawsuit will be shared among the school boards who have already voted to join.

In late August, the Polk School Board voted 5-0 to spend up to $25,000 to start work on the lawsuit, joining school boards in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Orange, Volusia and other counties.