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Overview of Education Litigation FEA Delegate Assembly October, 2012.

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1 Overview of Education Litigation FEA Delegate Assembly October, 2012

2 Pension Contribution Litigation Challenge to SB 2100 Requirement to Contribute 3% Elimination of COLA

3 Status of Case Florida Supreme Court held oral arguments on September 7, 2012 Court may release the decision at any time; there is no prescribed time frame Decision of the Florida Supreme Court is final since there are no federal issues present

4 Basis of Challenge Section 121.011(3)(d), Florida Statutes, provides: “As of July 1, 1974, the rights of members of the retirement system established by this chapter are declared to be of a contractual nature, entered into between the member and the state, and such rights shall be legally enforceable as valid contract rights and shall not be abridged in any way.” (underlining added)

5 Basis of Challenge The Legislature may only impair a contractual right if a “compelling state interest” exists: “[T]he legislature must demonstrate no other reasonable alternative means of preserving its contract with public workers, either in whole or in part. The mere fact that it is politically more expedient to eliminate all or part of the contracted funds is not in itself a compelling reason. Rather, the legislature must demonstrate that the funds are available from no other reasonable source.” (Chiles v. United Faculty of Florida, 615 So. 2d 671)

6 Decisions are released by the Supreme Court every Thursday morning – keep watching!

7 Evaluation and Assessment Litigation Challenge to SB 736 Judicial Constitutional Challenge Administrative Rule Challenge

8 Status of Case - Lawsuit Trial on cross motions for summary judgment before Circuit Court will be held on January 16, 2013 Issue of law - does the statute violate the Constitution - will be decided Appeal of decision is likely no matter what the outcome

9 Basis of Court Challenge SB 736 denies or impairs the right of employees to engage in collective bargaining protected by Article I, Section 6 Statute prescribes specific provisions which must be implemented Statute denies opportunity for effective collective bargaining

10 Basis of Court Challenge Court challenge is in the nature of a “facial challenge” Premature to challenge the results of implementing the statute Lawsuit does not reach issues regarding the value-added methodology

11 Status of Case – Administrative Rule Challenge On August 22, 2012, an Administrative Law Judge ruled that the DOE Rule 6A- 5.030 was invalid The determination was based on the procedural failure to adopt a proper rule Judge did not rule on substantive challenges which were presented

12 Status of Case – Administrative Rule Challenge DOE filed notice of appeal to challenge the ALJ’s determination in the First District Court of Appeal DOE will conduct new rulemaking process to attempt to re-adopt rule properly FEA has requested DOE to involve stakeholders in a meaningful manner

13 Ongoing Issue DOE, without a rule in effect, has provided flawed value-added data to school districts to use to amend end-of-year assessments FEA has prepared correspondence to Superintendents urging that data not be used If districts rely on flawed data for evaluation of staff, such decisions are subject to challenge

14 Funding Adequacy Challenge Paramount Duty of the State to Provide a Uniform, Efficient, Safe, Secure and High Quality System of Free Public Schools

15 Adequacy Litigation In 2009, several parent organizations filed a lawsuit contending that the State is not meeting the “paramount duty” of providing a high quality system of public schools State took the position that the constitutional requirement is merely aspirational and could not be judicially ascertained

16 Status of Case Trial Court determined case should proceed to trial First District Court of Appeal en banc split on whether the case is justiciable Florida Supreme Court rejected State’s effort to avoid the constitutional requirements and determined that case should be heard in trial

17 Basis of Court Challenge Funding burden has regularly been shifted to local taxpayers by the State Amount of funding is inadequate to meet the needs of a high quality system High stakes testing interferes with delivery of a high quality education Schools are not safe and secure

18 Basis of Court Challenge Graduation rates are inadequate Promotion and retention policies are inadequate Suspension and expulsion rates are too high System has disparate impact on minorities, disabled students and poor students

19 Status of Trial Court Proceedings Parties have begun to conduct the discovery process to produce the evidence needed to support the claims Suits of this type are time consuming and fact specific Litigation is being conducted by the “Southern Legal Counsel” UF Center


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