Florida appeals court takes up major school lawsuit

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) – A Florida appeals court is considering whether or not the state is shortchanging its public school students.

A three judge panel on Tuesday heard arguments in a long-running case that contends the state is ignoring a constitutional requirement that calls for a “high quality system of free public schools.”

A circuit judge last year threw out the lawsuit filed by education groups and parents that asserted a lack of funding has been damaging to minorities and students from poor families. The judge ruled that the groups had not presented enough evidence to prove their case.

The 1st District Court of Appeal has been asked to overturn the decision.

Judges peppered attorneys for both sides with questions, but most of them focused on whether the constitution has standards that can be evaluated by the courts.

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