Florida Education Association files suit against religious funding amendment
The measure in question is scheduled to appear on the Florida 2012 statewide ballot as Amendment 7. The proposed measure would prevent individuals from being barred from participating in public programs if they choose to use public funds at a religious provider. Essentially, the measure moves to repeal the state's ban of public dollars for religious funding, also known as the "Blaine Amendment."
Also involved in the suit is Lee Swift, president of the Florida School Board Association, and Susan Summers-Persis, president of the Florida Association of School Administrators.
Opponents argue that the measure's title and ballot summary are misleading. FEA describes the proposed measure as an "underhanded attempt to legalize state tuition vouchers for private schools, including church-affiliated schools."
The filed lawsuit also challenges 2011 legislation that allows for the Florida Attorney General's office to rewrite ballot summaries or titles when the Florida Supreme Court removes a certified measure from the statewide ballot. The lawsuit argues that authority for such a changes lies only in the Florida State Legislature.
- Florida 2012 ballot measures
- Florida Religious Freedom, Amendment 7 (2012)
- Laws governing the initiative process in Florida
- The Miami Herald, "Teachers union aims to block attempt to lift ban on tax money for religious organizations," July 19, 2011
- Florida State Senate, "SJR 1218: Religious Freedom (status and summary)," accessed April 13, 2011
- Associated Press, "Repeal of Fla. ban on religious funding gets boost," April 13, 2011
- The Palm Beach Post, "Voters to get chance to lift religious ban," May 6, 2011
- Florida Capital Bureau, "FEA sues to block voucher amendment," July 20, 2011