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Education and the amendment process for the Florida Constitution

There are many rules here in Florida regarding education. Some of them touch on what rights students, teachers and parents have. Others deal with what obligations and requirements schools are subject to. Understanding what such rules apply to their situation and what the rules mean for their options can be very important for a parent or teacher when they are in a dispute with a school district. So, these are among the topics a parent or teacher may wish to discuss with an experienced education lawyer when such a dispute comes up.

The education rules in the state can come from various sources. For one, they can come from state legislation. Also, they can come from the state’s constitution. Might this constitution soon be seeing some changes in its terms related to education? It’s possible, given a process that is currently occurring in Florida.

This process is the convening of the Constitution Revision Commission. This process occurs once every 20 years. In this process, the commission takes ideas from the public on proposed amendments to the state constitution and considers possible amendments. It then decides which proposals to move forward. Proposals that move forward and make it to the ballot are then voted on by the state’s voters. This time around, in order to amend the constitution, a proposal that makes the ballot has to get 60 percent of the vote.

The deadline for the public for submitting proposed amendments recently passed. Reportedly, over 700 proposals were submitted. Education is a common topic among them. Reportedly, dozens of the submitted proposals regard education. They touch on a range of issues including charter schools, how school district superintendants are chosen and religion and state funding.

One wonders how many education-related proposals will get the Commission’s approval and make it onto the ballot as a proposed constitutional amendment in the November 2018 election. One also wonders if any education-related proposals will end up getting voted in as a constitutional amendment in that vote, and if they do, what impact they will have on the education landscape in the state.

Source: TBO, “Some want to change Florida education — by amending the state Constitution,” Jeffrey S. Solochek, Oct. 16, 2017

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