State seeks to dismiss challenge to school-voucher law

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The state of Florida seeks to dismiss a legal challenge to a new education law, declaring the plaintiff — a social-studies teacher in Lee County — does not have legal standing in this case.

Attorneys representing Gov. Rick Scott, the Florida Cabinet and Education Commissioner Pam Stewart filed a joint motion with Leon County Chief Circuit Judge Charles Francis to dismiss the case.

Teacher Tom Faasse is listed as a plaintiff in the case filed in July.

Backed by the Florida Education Association, the suit challenges the constitutionality of a law that contains the controversial expansion of the state’s scholarship program, seen as de-facto school vouchers. According to the case, in 2014, lawmakers improperly bundled a series of education issues into a single bill.

However, the dismissal argues that Faasse cannot show “special injury” because of the law.

“Plaintiff challenges the constitutional validity of (the law), which he claims violates Florida’s single-subject rule,” says the motion. “But this court need not address the merits of plaintiff’s challenge because plaintiff has no standing to sue.”

Francis scheduled a Sept. 24 hearing in the case, according to documents posted on the website of Meyer, Brooks, Demma and Blohm, the law firm representing Faasse.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.