Lee schools formally join suit against state over charter funding

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FORT MYERS, Fla. The School Board of Lee County formally joined 12 other districts Monday in suing the state over a controversial education bill.

The suit challenges the constitutionality of House Bill 7069, a measure Gov. Rick Scott signed into law in July that steers money away from public schools and to privately run charter schools. The board voted unanimously a few weeks later to take part in the suit.

Lee County schools join suit against state over funding

The board opposes provisions that lay out funding mandates as well as the creation of a “Schools of Hope” program.

A School of Hope is a charter school that can be built to address various needs in low-income neighborhoods but the for-profit charter schools don’t have to serve that community and they don’t have to hire certified teachers, according to the district.

“The bottom line is that the Florida Legislature passed a bill that takes away local control which the people of Lee County have entrusted to us,” Board Chair Mary Fischer said in a statement the school board released Monday.

“Education is the economic driver of our community,” she said. “We must take action to protect and defend it, so students have the ability to reach their highest personal potentials.”

MORE: Lee schools superintendent calls for veto of education bill

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