Published Online: November 10, 2009
Published in Print: November 11, 2009, as ACLU Sues Florida Over Low Rate of H.S. Graduation in One County

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ACLU Sues Florida Over Low Rate Of H.S. Graduation in One County

Citing low high school graduation rates in Palm Beach County, Fla., the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Florida filed a class action lawsuit Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader last week against the state, arguing that it has failed to ensure that all students receive a high-quality education as required under the state constitution.

The lawsuit says that at least a third, and possibly as many as half, of the pupils in the 170,000-student district do not graduate on time with a regular diploma. It says that result is well below both state and national averages.

In particular, the lawsuit, filed Nov. 5 in a state circuit court in Palm Beach County, claims the state has failed to meet its constitutional obligation that all students receive a “uniform, efficient, safe, secure, and high quality” free public education. A circuit court judge dismissed a similar lawsuit filed by the ACLU in March 2008 against local education officials in Palm Beach County, according to a press release from the ACLU. The judge did not rule on the merits of that case.

A spokesman for the Florida Department of Education said the state agency was reviewing the legal action, but had no further comment.

Vol. 29, Issue 11, Page 5

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