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Judge rejects injunction sought by school boards

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A Leon County circuit judge has turned down a request for a temporary injunction in a legal battle about a controversial education law approved last year.

A coalition of 13 school districts has challenged the massive law, commonly known as HB 7069, and sought a temporary injunction against two parts of it. Those issues dealt with a requirement that school districts shift a portion of local property-tax revenues to charter schools for building projects and requirements related to “turnaround” plans for low-performing public schools.

The school boards argue that the requirements violate their constitutional powers to operate local schools.

But Leon County Circuit Judge John Cooper issued an order Thursday turning down the request for a temporary injunction. W

hile the order did not explain his reasons, Cooper said during a Jan. 30 hearing that legal standards for a temporary injunction are different than the considerations in issuing a final ruling.

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“I think state funding of education is a complicated and intertwined system,” he said, according to a transcript of the hearing. “And I want to make sure, before I start exercising control over state funding and charter schools and telling people either to do something or not to do something, that we have a more thorough briefing and hearing on it because I do know that there are lots of unintended consequences and actions in cases like this.”