Teachers Union and School District are Appealing Court’s Decision to Keep Open Charter Schools Serving 13,000 Louisiana Children; Oral Arguments Heard This Morning
BATON ROUGE, La., February 29, 2016 –Today the First Circuit Court of Appeals in Louisiana granted a motion to accept an amicus brief filed by PublicSchoolOptions.org and Louisiana parents Jennette Franklin and Christin White-Kaiser in the case of Iberville Parish School Board, et al v. Louisiana State Elementary and Secondary Education Board, et al. Franklin and Kaiser have children who attend Louisiana charter schools, some of whom are directly threatened by the frivolous 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. It is critical that parent voices of children directly affected by the lawsuit be heard in the proceedings, and thanks to the court’s decision to grant the motion, those voices will be heard. The amicus can be found HERE.
Last May, 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 pushed forward with an appeal in their continued fight to diminish options in public education in the state. The court accepted the brief just before oral arguments began on Monday morning in Baton Rouge at Southern University.
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 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.
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:
“We are thankful to the court for accepting our brief, which gives a voice to the real stakeholders of public education – the children and families that are served by our state’s public charter schools – which have been unrepresented in these proceedings. The union continues to be on the losing side of this issue, threatening the schools that thousands of Louisiana families choose. We hope and pray that the court will again side with students and parents, protecting the education of 13,000 Louisiana students.”