Search
Close this search box.
Three Legal Cases Charter Schools Should Watch in 2019

Three Legal Cases Charter Schools Should Watch in 2019

April 8, 2019

The National Alliance launched the Charter Schools Legal Action Fund to support select public charter school cases with national impact. Following a successful 2018, in which our local partners achieved significant victories in Washington state and Louisiana, we continue to work with partners in cases touching on a plethora of issues. 

Below are three cases to watch in 2019:

1. Mississippi

In 2016, our opponents filed a constitutional challenge to the Mississippi Charter School Act (CSA) in trial court in Hinds County, Mississippi. The lawsuit alleged the CSA’s funding structure violates the Mississippi Constitution by using local and state public education dollars to fund public charter schools approved and overseen by the Mississippi Charter School Authorizer Board. 

The trial court ruled in favor of public charter schools. The case is now before the Mississippi Supreme Court, where the parties are awaiting the Court’s ruling. 

In our continuing efforts to achieve equitable funding for public charter school students, we support this case to protect access to state and local funds public school students attending charter schools.

2. Florida

In 2017, 14 school districts filed two separate lawsuits challenging a law (HB 7069) which makes public charter and district schools’ students more equitably funded. Specifically, the law requires: school districts to share locally raised capital outlay dollars with qualifying public charter schools based on a statutorily prescribed formula; Title I money be passed directly to school districts and public charter schools rather than being used on district-wide programs; the creation of the “Schools of Hope” program, which provides funding to public charter school operators to move into areas with low-performing traditional public schools; the use of a standard charter contract; and it made it easier for public charter school systems to become their own LEA.

The trial court ruled in favor of public charter schools and now the case is before the intermediate appellate state court where the parties are awaiting an oral argument date. 

We are supporting this case because, historically, public charter school students have received less funding than their district peers. A victory in this case would preserve the law’s solution to that history of persistent underfunding.

3. District of Columbia

In 2014, the DC Association of Chartered Public Schools and two local public charter schools filed a lawsuit in federal court, seeking to enforce the funding requirements of the DC School Reform Act (SRA) of 1995, enacted by Congress, which requires students who attend DC public charter schools receive the same level of funding as students who attend traditional district schools. Notwithstanding this legislative directive, the District of Columbia has, for years, enacted legislation that provides additional funding to district schools without providing commensurate additional funding to D.C. public charter schools. 

D.C. public charter schools and the D.C. Association suffered a defeat in trial court and appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, where the parties are currently awaiting the Court’s ruling. 

As with the Florida case, we are supporting this case to help achieve equitable funding for public charter school students.

We will continue to monitor these cases as they develop over the year and others arise.

 

Robert Reed, Jr. is the senior director of legal affairs at the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.

 

Learn more about our legal advocacy work.

help us advocate for more charter schools & increased funding!
find a charter school near you on our interactive map!

Notice

You are now leaving the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools Website

trophy icon

Memorial Gifts

Contact Celia Hagerman at celia@publiccharters.org or 202-600-8994.

trophy icon

Commemorative Gifts

Contact Celia Hagerman at celia@publiccharters.org or 202-600-8994.

Notice

You are now leaving the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools Website

Notice

You are now leaving the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools Website

Notice

You are now leaving the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools Website

Notice

You are now leaving the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools Website

Notice

You are now leaving the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools Website

Notice

You are now leaving the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools Website

STAY INFORMED

Get the latest charter school updates straight to your inbox.

shapes icon

Wire Transfers

For questions regarding wire transfers, please email of call Celia Hagerman at celia@publiccharters.org or 202-600-8994.

shapes icon

Gifts of Stock

For questions regarding stock, please email of call Celia Hagerman at celia@publiccharters.org or 202-600-8994.

shapes icon

Matching Gifts

If you or your spouse work for a company that provides matching gifts, you can make an even bigger impact! To have your gift matched, you must submit your company’s completed matching gift form.

Please send all completed matching gift forms to:

National Alliance for Public Charter Schools
800 Connecticut Ave. N.W. Suite 300
Washington, DC 20006.

If this donation will be potentially matched, please provide the company name.

Advocates Council

Contact Celia Hagerman at celia@publiccharters.org or 202-600-8994.

calendar icon

Legacy Society

Contact Celia Hagerman at celia@publiccharters.org or 202-600-8994 to learn more about the Legacy Society or for any other inquiries regarding planned giving.