Teachers Union and School District are Appealing Court’s Decision to Keep Open Charter Schools Serving 13,000 Louisiana Children
BATON ROUGE, La. – On Wednesday, a five-judge panel from the Louisiana Court of Appeal First Circuit will hear a second round of oral arguments in the case of Iberville Parish School Board, et al v. Louisiana State Elementary and Secondary Education Board, et al. A three-judge panel heard oral arguments in February; however, the case has been referred to the five-judge panel.
PublicSchoolOptions.org Louisiana parents, whose children’s educations are in jeopardy, will attend the hearing.
In May of 2015 a District Court judge ruled in favor of Louisiana parents and students with a clear message: charter schools are public schools and the current funding mechanism established by the state can continue. In spite of the judge’s decision, which allows over 13,000 Louisiana children access to the school that works best for them, the teachers union and Iberville Parish School Board have pushed forward with an appeal in their continued fight to diminish options in public education in the state.
If the plaintiffs are successful in their suit, public funding would be discontinued to Type 2 charter schools in the state, which could cause those schools to close. Type 2 charter schools currently serve over 13,000 students in the Louisiana. Many of these students would be left without other public school options and sent back to a local school that has already failed to meet their learning needs.
In February the First Circuit Court of Appeals granted a motion to accept an amicus brief filed by PublicSchoolOptions.org and Louisiana parents Jennette Franklin and Christin White-Kaiser in the case. Franklin and Kaiser have children who attend Louisiana charter schools, some of whom are directly threatened by the self-serving lawsuit brought by the Louisiana teachers union and Iberville Parish School Board.
The brief provides a voice for parents of children who could lose their school choice option and asserts the constitutional guarantees and rights of students attending public charter schools. Parent voices of children directly affected by the lawsuit must be heard in the proceedings, and because of the court’s February decision to grant the motion, those voices will be heard. The amicus can be found HERE.
The brief strongly urges the court to take into consideration the children and families served by these public charter schools, which have been unrepresented in these proceedings.
STATEMENT FROM CHRISTIN WHITE-KAISER:
“Our children stand to be directly affected by the outcome of this lawsuit, and as the ones who should be trusted to make educational decisions for our children, we ask the court to listen to parents and reject the union’s attempt to strip away parent choice. Every child has the right to a public education and we are confident the court will agree.”
PublicSchoolOptions.org is a national alliance of over 60,000 parents that supports and defends parents’ rights to access the best public school options for their children. The Coalition supports the creation of public school options, including charter schools, online schools, magnet schools, open enrollment policies and other innovative education programs. Additionally, we advocate for equal access without restrictions to the school that best suits the individual student’s learning needs whether it is public, non-public or home-based.