Editorial: Pinellas should join lawsuit challenging new state law

The Florida Legislature has been on a cynical, constitutionally dubious quest to render local school boards powerless. The most direct assault is a new state law that strips school boards of much of their authority when it comes to the creation and funding of charter schools. It’s time for the Pinellas County School District to join other districts in a lawsuit aimed at putting a stop to the micromanaging from Tallahassee.

Seven school boards around the state already have agreed to join in a lawsuit that challenges the constitutionality of HB 7069, which Gov. Rick Scott foolishly signed into a law. Orange County is expected to officially sign on as the eighth district in the next few days. The Pinellas County School Board originally was scheduled to make a decision about joining the lawsuit in August but now appears poised to wait for at least another month.

Ostensibly, the School Board is giving superintendent Mike Grego time to meet with local legislators to see if any common ground can be reached on reforms next year. It’s an admirable thought but wishful thinking. With House Speaker Richard Corcoran still running the show in Tallahassee in 2018, traditional public schools will remain under attack.

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