It is indeed disappointing that Floridians will not have the opportunity to vote this November for educational choice in their state. Yesterday, the Florida Supreme Court, a body renowned for its opposition to vouchers and charter schools, removed from ballots Amendments 7 and 9, which would have excised from the Florida Constitution its prohibition on providing state money to religious institutions (a prohibition which is a relic of anti-Catholic Blaine amendments) and would have made public schools the primary way, but not the only way, that Florida's pupils can receive educations (an important distinction). The justices haven't yet released their full opinion, but they basically found that both amendments were outside the purview of the Taxation and Budget Reform Commission, which proposed them. We were guardedly hopeful that Floridians would be able to vote on these proposals, and we're sad to learn that the state's Supreme Court is determined to not let that happen.
"Tax swap, vouchers off Nov. ballot," by Alex Leary and Ron Matus, St. Petersburg Times, September 4, 2008
"Fla. High Court Strikes Levy, Voucher, School Measures from Ballot," by Lloyd Dunkelberger, The Ledger (Lakeland), September 4, 2008