October 16, 2017
Today, Polk County Public Schools joined twelve districts across the state in filing a legal challenge to House Bill 7069. The complaint is attached.
“House Bill 7069 takes away local control of our schools, hindering our ability to serve the students of Polk County. Public education is too important to our community, our economy and our future. We had to take a stand for public education, and that’s exactly what we have done by joining this lawsuit,” said Superintendent Jacqueline Byrd.
Chicago law firm Husch Blackwell will represent the coalition of districts which educates millions of Florida’s children. Attorney John Borkowski will take the lead. The legal challenge centers on whether the bill oversteps the School Board’s constitutional authority to oversee its local district. It will also address whether it is legal to force a district to share capital dollars with charter schools.
In August, the Polk County School Board voted unanimously to join the lawsuit.
Polk County School Board Chair Kay Fields said at the time:
“It is unfortunate we find ourselves in this place, but the actions taken during the last legislative session have led us down this path, and we feel we have no other recourse at this time. Local communities need the ability to make decisions for the children they serve.