Florida parents and educators opposed HB 7069, a bill which hurts public schools and enriches charter schools (private contractor schools), but the legislature didn’t listen. (Key legislators have financial ties to the charter industry.) They urged Governor Rick Scott to veto it but he didn’t listen.

Now school boards, led by the one in Broward County, are suing to block the law and have it declared unconstitutional.

The Palm Beach Post urges the Palm Beach school board to join the suit. Perhaps the courts will listen.

“Kudos then to the Broward County School Board for being the first to get this legal action started. It has outlined five grounds to challenge the law. Among them, aspects friendly to charter schools such as making it easier for a charter — or “School of Hope” — to open near an academically struggling traditional public school.

“Perhaps the most salient argument, however, will be that the omnibus legislation violates the Florida Constitution’s requirement that each bill deal with a single subject. To help guarantee passage, the law — championed by House Speaker Richard Corcoran — mashed together bills that dealt with, among other things, eliminating a state math exam, requiring most public elementary schools to offer daily recess, and providing more money for teacher bonuses and a school-voucher program for students with disabilities.

“If that doesn’t raise questions about the single-subject rules, how about this: The constitution also requires that a bill’s “one subject” be “briefly expressed in the title.” The title for HB 7069 is more than 4,000 words.

“Corcoran’s office says the law — which essentially rewrites the state’s public school system — falls under the “single subject” of “K-12 education policy.”

“The Speaker called the Broward lawsuit “another example of the educational bureaucracy putting the adults who administer the schools ahead of the children who attend the schools.”

“Not only is it clueless,” he added, “it is also arguably heartless, to sue to stop school children from getting recess, disabled children from getting funding, poor children from getting out of failure factories and teachers from getting more pay.”

“No, Mr. Speaker. What’s “clueless” and “arguably heartless” is holding things such as teacher pay, help for disabled students and recess for elementary school kids hostage in order to siphon more money from struggling traditional public schools to funnel to less accountable, for-profit charter school operators.

“There are many well-run charters in Palm Beach County; and our district is better for it. But there is no evidence that as a group they perform any better for our tax dollars. In fact, hundreds of charter schools have failed in the state of Florida, and dozens more are academically struggling.”

Why is it that Florida wants to divert funding from public schools to contractor schools? Follow the money.