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Cooper: Ruling On Amendment Eight Could Come Monday

A decision on the fate of an education amendment to Florida’s constitution could arrive as soon as Monday.

Arguments over Amendment Eight center on whether its ballot summary is misleading to voters. The League of Women Voters of Florida claims the language doesn’t tell voters they could be approving independent oversight of charter schools. Friday, the state made its case on why the  proposal should remain on the ballot.

“There’s nothing in…Revision eight that would purport to accomplish anything of that sort," Blaine Winship, an attorney representing Secretary of State Ken Detzner told Leon Circuit Court Judge John Cooper, "it’s entirely silent on who gets to authorize new public schools.”

Supporters of the Amendment say its vague by design.

In a recent press release from the pro-Amendment Eight campaign "8IsGreat', Collier County School Board member and amendment architect Erika Donalds said, "Amendment 8 does not in itself change the current manner of establishing public schools in Florida, nor does it require the Legislature to so. If Amendment 8 passes, the Legislature could choose to enact legislation to create an alternative process to establish public schools and allow other entities besides school districts to operate, control and supervise those public schools. These changes would require an act of the Legislature and approval by the Governor."

The ballot proposal groups local school board term limits, civics education and the charter school issue into one yes or no vote. Leon Circuit Judge John Cooper issays he hopes to issue a ruling Monday.

Copyright 2018 WFSU

Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas. She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. When she’s not working, Lynn spends her time watching sci-fi and action movies, writing her own books, going on long walks through the woods, traveling and exploring antique stores. Follow Lynn Hatter on Twitter: @HatterLynn.