Excellence in Education Now
More than a decade after voters approved a constitutional amendment imposing a "paramount duty" on the state to provide a high-quality education to all Florida students, Florida's schools are still failing our children.
On November 18, 2009, a coalition of parents and citizens groups filed a law suit to force state leaders to meet their constitutional duty.
On this page, you can learn about the lawsuit, read media coverage, and sign up to show your support. Check back often for updates.
About the Lawsuit
Join the Movement!
We need Floridians to join these parents in demanding better schools -- show state leaders we're not going to go away until they live up to their constitutional responsibility.
Visit our sign-up page now to voice your support.
Read this article for an explanation of the background and legal basis of the lawsuit (in English...not legalese!). More
Read the press release announcing the filing of the litigation. More
The plaintiffs filed a 24-page complaint in the Leon County Circuit Court, alleging that the state has failed to meet its constitutional burden. Click here to download the complaint.
In this guest editorial in the Gainesville Sun, Mark McGriff, chair of coalition member Citizens for Strong Schools, explains why the recent Quality Counts report ranking Florida schools 8th in the nation is way off base. More
Nov 30, 2009 Miami Herald: In Search of High Quality Education
Editorial board says: "Voters made it clear a decade ago that education should be Job One. The governor and the Legislature have yet to deliver on that mandate." More
Nov 25, 2009 Gainesville Sun: Window Dressing
The Gainesville Sun editorial board responds to Attorney General Bill McCollum's comments criticizing the lawsuit, asking if General McCollum believes the constitutional requirement to provide high-quality schools is just "window dressing." More
Nov 23 2009 Political Connections on Bay News 9
St. Petersburg Times political editor Adam Smith and news anchor Al Ruechel interviewed former Florida House Speaker Jon Mills and Linda Kobert with Fund Education Now about the lawsuit. View a 5-minute clip of the interview below.
Nov 23, 2009 Daytona Beach News Journal: Kids Deserve Better
Editorial board: "'The education of children is a fundamental value of the people of the State of Florida.' Except when it's not. Over the 10 years since Florida voters wrote that requirement into the state constitution, the Legislature has reduced state funding for education dramatically, shifting the burden of public schools to local taxpayers and reducing overall per-student funding. Between 2006 and the current school year, per-pupil funding dropped by nearly $1,700. And within the coming months, state lawyers will have to answer for their performance, thanks to a pair of lawsuits filed last week by disgruntled parents who contend the state has failed in its constitutional duty." More
Nov 22, 2009 St. Petersburg Times: For Better Schools
Editorial board says: "The Legislature has failed to treat the education of Florida's children as the "paramount duty" enumerated in the Constitution. Nine years ago, the state share of public education money was 62 percent, the suit notes. Now it is 44 percent, as lawmakers have shifted more of the burden from the state to local taxpayers. Districts have been coping by cutting programs and reducing staff. Only federal stimulus money has prevented thousands of layoffs and full-fledged cash crisis" More
Nov 21, 2009 Gainesville Sun: Words Matter
Editorial board says: "The action has been a long time coming. Maybe we missed it, but we don't think Florida has a constitutional mandate requiring lawmakers to keep taxes as low as possible at the expense of our children." More
Nov 20 2009 St. Petersburg Times Gradebook blog: "Florida 'pretty much last in the nation for science'"
Todd Clark, the Florida Department of Education bureau chief for curriculum and instruction, gave a power-point presentation that said "Florida students are pretty much last in the nation for science." Click here to read more.
Following a decade of FCAT scoring and tests that grade schools on their progress, and reward high-achieving schools, Florida remains 47th in the nation in graduation rates — despite some very good school districts, including Leon's, and excellent, if underpaid ($5,000 below the national average), teachers. Its per pupil spending is among the worst in the nation, with the state's share of school districts' budgets dropping from 62 percent in 2000 to 44 percent this year. More
Florida is violating the state Constitution by not pouring enough money into schools and relentlessly focusing on high-stakes testing policies that aren't getting good results, says a lawsuit expected to be filed today in Leon County circuit court. More
A lawsuit filed today charges that Florida has failed to adequately fund education or to provide for a system of "high quality" public schools in violation of the state constitution. More
Parents from Duval County and across Florida filed suit against the state’s education system Wednesday, setting off legal and political battles over the future of Florida schools. More
Nov 19, 2009 Tallahassee Democrat: Lawsuit: Fla. failing kids
The Florida Constitution clearly states the importance of education in this state. But superintendents, children advocates and parents are up in arms because they are angry that the state is not upholding its part of deal. More
Nov 18, 2009 WFTV: Parents Suing State Over Poor Education
Some Orange County parents say their children are getting such a poor education they're suing the state legislature and Department of Education. The parents told Eyewitness News that lawmakers are violating the constitution by spending too little money on education. More
Jul 16, 2009 Miami Herald: Florida's Public Schools Are At Risk
Miami Herald editorial board asks: "Why is Florida abdicating its responsibility to fund public schools to ensure quality education mandated by the state's constitution?" More
Mar 29, 2009 TC Palm Editorial: It's pretty clear in St. Lucie that lawmakers violate pledge for 'high quality education'
TC Palm editorial board: "Florida is on the verge of a constitutional crisis as lawmakers continue to slash funding for public education....The state Constitution requires that the state — the Legislature — provide a free and 'high quality' public education system. But, that's not happening and the situation is getting worse." More
Fund Education Now.org is a permanent grassroots, non-partisan group created by parents to inspire and empower voters to advocate on behalf of Florida's children. Supported by teachers, principals, administrators, and concerned citizens- we believe that Florida's public education crisis is about more than money. For years, the Florida Legislature has not met its responsibility as described in Article IX of the state constitution to provide funding for "a high quality education." More
A non-profit, non-partisan group, the mission of Citizens for Stronger Schools is to consider, study, and publicize ways to improve education in Alachua County. More
Southern Legal Counsel, Inc. (SLC) is a not-for-profit public interest law firm that is committed to the ideal of equal justice for all. SLC seeks to make this ideal a reality by providing legal representation to selected individuals and groups who otherwise would not have access to the justice system and whose cases may bring about systemic reform for the benefit of others similarly situated. More