Fla. Supreme Court Won’t Hear ‘Opt Out’ Case

By Stephen Sawchuk — July 18, 2017 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Florida’s highest court has decided not to re-hear a case brought by parents challenging the state’s 3rd-grade reading exam policy.

The ruling leaves standing an appeals court ruling that said the state can hold back students who “opt out” of the mandatory exam.

Under a policy put into place in the early 2000s under former Gov. Jeb Bush, Florida requires all 3rd graders to pass the reading exam before moving to 4th grade. More than a dozen parents had sued in 2016 after their respective school districts refused to let those parents’ children go on to 4th grade after they opted out of the exam.

Most, but not all, of students were also offered and refused a second “portfolio” option.

In the lawsuit, partially financed through a Kickstarter campaign, the parents said that all students should have the option to demonstrate through grades or other means that they are reading at grade level and ready to go on to 4th grade. A lower court agreed with the parents, but that decision was overturned on appeal.

The parents’ subsequent appeal to the Florida Supreme Court was based on arguments about the case’s jurisdiction, not the merits of Florida’s 3rd-grade reading policy, so the court did not weigh in on that issue.

For more on 3rd grade reading:

A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.