Washington D.C.–Yesterday, a Mississippi court handed down a big win for Mississippi public school students when it ruled in favor of students’ right to receive state and local funds to support their education in public charter schools.
After 18 months of litigation, the court affirmed the constitutionality of charter school funding in Mississippi. The statute allows–and the court confirmed–that state and local funding may follow the student to the charter school of her/his choice. With its ruling, the court firmly establishes that when local tax dollars flow to public charter schools, “local tax dollars [are benefiting] local students.”
The current Mississippi Charter Schools Act became law in 2013, and two years later, the first two charter schools–ReImagine Prep (a RePublic Schools campus) and Midtown Public Charter School–opened in Jackson, MS. A third charter school, Smilow Prep (also a RePublic Schools campus), opened in Jackson in August 2017. Clarksdale Collegiate Public Charter School was approved in 2017 and will open in Fall 2018.
Having defeated these attacks on their funding, public charter schools across Mississippi can–and will–grow to serve more and more students who are demanding access to high-quality public education opportunities. In 2017, the Mississippi Charter School Authorizer Board was awarded $15M in federal Charter Schools Program funding to seed charter school growth throughout the state over the next five years.
A portion of the legal support for the defense was provided by the National Alliance’s Charter School Legal Action Fund (CSLAF) which invests in and assists high-impact charter school litigation across the country. CSLAF fights to protect and expand access to high-quality public charter schools for students, their families and their communities.
About Public Charter Schools
Public charter schools are independent, public, and tuition-free schools that are given the freedom to be more innovative while being held accountable for advancing student achievement. Since 2010, many research studies have found that students in charter schools do better in school than their traditional school peers. For example, one study by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes at Stanford University found that charter schools do a better job teaching low income students, minority students, and students who are still learning English than traditional schools. Separate studies by the Center on Reinventing Public Education and Mathematica Policy Research have found that charter school students are more likely to graduate from high school, go on to college, stay in college and have higher earnings in early adulthood.
About the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools
The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools is the leading national nonprofit organization committed to advancing the public charter school movement. Our mission is to lead public education to unprecedented levels of academic achievement by fostering a strong charter sector. For more information, please visit www.publiccharters.org.