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Orange School Board Considers Joining Suit Over Education Law

Orange County Public Schools logo
Orange County Public Schools logo

Orange County School Board Chairman Bill Sublette says the board is being cautious about entering into a lawsuit over the state’s new education law.

“From what I heard from the board table last Tuesday night, I believe pretty clearly that our board supports joining in,” said Sublette. “I think the issue is one of timing, one of risk exposure, and cost.”

The school board will engage in its first in-depth conversation about joining the lawsuit at a workshop Tuesday evening.

A handful of school districts, including Volusia, have pledged to join a legal challenge to the law, saying it violates the state’s constitution.

Amongst other things, the law requires sharing tax dollars with charter schools for construction and maintenance. This would put a financial strain on a district that opened six new schools this year and will open 15 more in the coming decade, he said.

The board is also concerned with a provision that takes the authority away from local school boards to negotiate contracts with charter schools.

“Which is important to our board because we have put into our contracts in the last six years minimum performance standards that we expect to all our schools, including our neighborhood schools,” said Sublette.

Supporters of the law say it gives students more access to high-performing charter schools.

The Orange County School Board workshop is Tuesday at 4:30 pm at the Ronald Blocker Educational Leadership Center at 445 W Amelia Street, Orlando.