In an 8-7 vote, the Florida Supreme Court declined to consider a “writ of prohibition” filed by the defendants in Citizens for Strong Schools, Inc v. Florida State Board of Education. The state defendants attempted to argue that the case was not justiciable and should not be permitted to proceed to trial. The September 11th court order means that the plaintiffs will now be able to argue their case at trial and proceed with their challenge to the state’s school funding system.
Filed in November 2009, the case charges the state with failing to meet education mandates outlined in Florida’s constitution, which call for a high quality education and the elevation of education above other governmental functions. In their complaint, the plaintiffs asked the court to order the state to establish a remedial plan to fix the inequitable and inadequate funding system. Over the past three years, the courts have repeatedly rejected the state’s attempts to dismiss the case, but this latest refusal to block the lawsuit is expected to finally send it to trial.