Yesterday, a coalition of parents and citizens groups filed a lawsuit in Tallahassee asking the court to declare that state leaders have failed to meet their constitutional obligation to make "adequate provision" for a "uniform, efficient, safe, secure and high quality system of free public schools that allows students to obtain a high quality education."
Learn all about the lawsuit and the background of the constitutional requirement on CIVIC's Excellence in Education Now page.
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CIVIC and its members have been active on many issues important to Florida's future and Florida families' quality of life: education and FCAT reform, health coverage for children, PIP insurance, oil drilling in the Gulf, growth management, just to name a few.
The legislature is in Tallahassee this week for committee meetings, already gearing up for the 2010 session next March. Much of the work gets done now, before session even begins.
What issues would you like more information about? What issues would you like help taking action on? Post your thoughts and requests here and help guide CIVIC's work in the next session.
The St. Petersburg Times editorial board published a strongly worded editorial today castigating the legislature for failing to show leadership in this time of crisis. Read the editorial here and then share your opinion with other CIVIC members.
In a last-minute amendment, a key Florida House committee passed a proposal to allow the Florida Cabinet to approve new leases for oil and natural gas drilling with three to ten miles off the Florida coast. The measure is now expected to be heard in the Senate.
Learn more in the CIVIC article.
Jon L. Mills is Dean Emeritus of the University of Florida Levin College of Law, where he founded and currently serves as director of the Center for Governmental Responsibility. Mills is the former Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives. Among his many legislative accomplishments was the passage of the Growth Management Act.
Former Speaker Mills wrote this guest column to oppose the Legislature's current plan to dismantle the Department of Community Affairs and weaken Florida's growth management process.
After you read his column, please share your thoughts in the comments.
Several bills moving through the legislature would greatly affect Florida's growth management process. Legislators are considering eliminating the Department of Community Affairs, the agency that works with local communities to help control and manage growth and protect the environment. There is also a bill to make it easier for developers to fill in wetlands and build on them.
Legislators argue the changes will spur economic development. Environmentalists and advocates of smart growth oppose the changes, pointing out the hundreds of thousands of new homes sitting empty and arguing that destroying Florida's environment and encouraging urban sprawl won't attract new jobs, residents or tourists to the state.
What do you think? For more information, visit CIVIC's article.
State Representative Martin Kiar wrote this guest column to explain his opposition to the proposed constitutional amendment reducing class-size reduction requirements and to urge his legislative colleagues to join a bipartisan effort to add flexibility to the current structure without shortchanging students.
Read his thoughts, then feel free to share your own in the comments.