Plaintiff school board alleges that it is unable to adequately discharge its statutory and constitutional duties to provide a public education because the legislature unlawfully reduced its educational funding. The basis for the lawsuit is the new method of calculating the district cost differential (DCD). The DCD has been calculated each year using the Florida Price Level Index (FPLI). Beginning in 2004-2005, the Legislature added the "amenities-based indices" to the formula. The approach included beaches, climate, scenery, public services and other desirable community features in the school funding formula. The financial impact to the Miami-Dade school district is approximately $24,500,000 for 2004-2005, $43,000,000 for 2005-2006 and $88,000,000 for 2006-2007. Plaintiff contends that as a result of the unlawful DCD funding decision, students in Miami-Dade County will be discriminatorily denied equal funding opportunity and that a uniform high quality education cannot be provided. More information is available at http://www.startingat3.org/state_laws/statelawsFLdetail.html#toc47.
Advisory Opinion to the Attorney General re: Voluntary Universal Pre-Kindergarten Education, 824 So. 2d 161 (Fla. 2002).
The Florida Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of a public initiative to amend the state constitution to require voluntary universal pre-kindergarten education. The Court found that the amendment satisfied the "single subject" requirement and observed that the ballot title and summary clearly and unambiguously set forth the initiative's primary purpose. 824 So. 2d at 166-67.
Coal. for Adequacy & Fairness in Sch. Funding v. Chiles, 680 So.2d 400 (Fla. 1996).
The Florida Supreme Court affirmed the lower court's dismissal of the case, finding that plaintiffs had "failed to demonstrate . . . an appropriate standard for determining ‘adequacy' that would not present a substantial risk of judicial intrusion into the powers and responsibilities of the legislature." 680 So.2d at 408.
Dept. of Educ. v. Sch. Bd. Collier County, 394 So. 2d 1010 (Fla. 1981).
The Florida Supreme Court upheld against a constitutional challenge an appropriations bill guaranteeing a minimum increase of 7.25 percent in school funding conditioned on millage value per student. The Court stated, “[t]he legislature is not required to distribute educational funds to all school districts in an equal mathematical proportion. The legislature may, if it so desires, distribute the state funds on the basis of public educational need.” 394 So. 2d at 1013.