CRC - 2017                                                  P 59
       By Commissioner Johnson
       johnsonm-00013-17                                       201759__
    1                         A proposal to amend                       
    2         Section 3 of Article I and Sections 1 and 6 of Article
    3         IX of the State Constitution to establish rights of
    4         public school students and to create an exception to
    5         the prohibition on the appropriation of public funds
    6         to certain private schools.
    8  Be It Proposed by the Constitution Revision Commission of
    9  Florida:
   11         Section 3 of Article I of the State Constitution is amended
   12  to read:
   13                              ARTICLE I                            
   14                        DECLARATION OF RIGHTS                      
   15         SECTION 3. Religious freedom.—There shall be no law
   16  respecting the establishment of religion or prohibiting or
   17  penalizing the free exercise thereof. Religious freedom shall
   18  not justify practices inconsistent with public morals, peace or
   19  safety. No revenue of the state or any political subdivision or
   20  agency thereof shall ever be taken from the public treasury
   21  directly or indirectly in aid of any church, sect, or religious
   22  denomination or in aid of any sectarian institution, with the
   23  exception of educational programs under Article IX, section 1.
   25         Sections 1 and 6 of Article IX of the State Constitution
   26  are amended to read:
   27                             ARTICLE IX                            
   28                              EDUCATION                            
   29         SECTION 1. Public education.—
   30         (a) The education of children is a fundamental value of the
   31  people of the State of Florida. It is, therefore, a paramount
   32  duty of the state to make adequate provision for the education
   33  of all children residing within its borders. Adequate provision
   34  shall be made by law for a uniform, efficient, safe, secure, and
   35  high quality system of free public schools that allows students
   36  to obtain a high quality education; for public funds to be
   37  appropriated for private schools in the event that a student’s
   38  right to an education that meets his or her individual needs and
   39  learning differences as provided under paragraph (b)(6) is
   40  violated; and for the establishment, maintenance, and operation
   41  of institutions of higher learning and other public education
   42  programs that the needs of the people may require.
   43         (b) A public school student is entitled to:
   44         (1) A meaningful education that has lifelong value and
   45  prepares the student for future goals and needs.
   46         (2) A socially, emotionally, and physically safe, sanitary,
   47  and positive school environment.
   48         (3)The systemic maintenance of high educational standards,
   49  effective curricula, and assessment in a way which most
   50  accurately captures abilities and knowledge.
   51         (4) Teachers who are qualified, appropriate, and effective.
   52         (5) Opportunities for school and educational choice to enable
   53  and effect decision making about personal education.
   54         (6) An education that meets individual needs and learning
   55  differences and to use public funding to attend a non-public
   56  school if those needs and differences cannot be completely met
   57  and accommodated by the student’s zoned public school.
   58         (7)Express publicly and to hear various points of view on
   59  subjects without fear, reprisal, or penalty, subject to
   60  constitutional limitations.
   61         (8) Protection from arbitrary interference of privacy.
   62         (9) Due process and to petition the government for redress of
   63  grievances.
   64         (c) To assure that children attending public schools obtain
   65  a high quality education, the legislature shall make adequate
   66  provision to ensure that, by the beginning of the 2010 school
   67  year, there are a sufficient number of classrooms so that:
   68         (1) The maximum number of students who are assigned to each
   69  teacher who is teaching in public school classrooms for
   70  prekindergarten through grade 3 does not exceed 18 students;
   71         (2) The maximum number of students who are assigned to each
   72  teacher who is teaching in public school classrooms for grades 4
   73  through 8 does not exceed 22 students; and
   74         (3) The maximum number of students who are assigned to each
   75  teacher who is teaching in public school classrooms for grades 9
   76  through 12 does not exceed 25 students.
   78  The class size requirements of this subsection do not apply to
   79  extracurricular classes. Payment of the costs associated with
   80  reducing class size to meet these requirements is the
   81  responsibility of the state and not of local schools districts.
   82  Beginning with the 2003-2004 fiscal year, the legislature shall
   83  provide sufficient funds to reduce the average number of
   84  students in each classroom by at least two students per year
   85  until the maximum number of students per classroom does not
   86  exceed the requirements of this subsection.
   87         (d)(b) Every four-year old child in Florida shall be
   88  provided by the State a high quality pre-kindergarten learning
   89  opportunity in the form of an early childhood development and
   90  education program which shall be voluntary, high quality, free,
   91  and delivered according to professionally accepted standards. An
   92  early childhood development and education program means an
   93  organized program designed to address and enhance each child’s
   94  ability to make age appropriate progress in an appropriate range
   95  of settings in the development of language and cognitive
   96  capabilities and emotional, social, regulatory and moral
   97  capacities through education in basic skills and such other
   98  skills as the Legislature may determine to be appropriate.
   99         (e)(c) The early childhood education and development
  100  programs provided by reason of subsection (d) subparagraph (b)
  101  shall be implemented no later than the beginning of the 2005
  102  school year through funds generated in addition to those used
  103  for existing education, health, and development programs.
  104  Existing education, health, and development programs are those
  105  funded by the State as of January 1, 2002 that provided for
  106  child or adult education, health care, or development.
  107         SECTION 6. State school fund.—The income derived from the
  108  state school fund shall, and the principal of the fund may, be
  109  appropriated, but only to the support and maintenance of free
  110  public schools.