Decision to Keep Open Public Charter Schools Serving 13,000 Louisiana Children Rests with Louisiana Supreme Court
BATON ROUGE, La. –Yesterday, PublicSchoolOptions.org and Louisiana parents Jennette Franklin and Christin White-Kaiser filed a motion for an amicus brief in the case of Iberville Parish School Board, et al v. Louisiana State Elementary and Secondary Education Board, et al. The case now sits before the Louisiana Supreme Court. Franklin and White-Kaiser have children who attend Louisiana public 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 and we urge the Supreme Court to grant the motion and accept the amicus brief. Read the full brief HERE.
In 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 pushed forward with an appeal in their continued fight to diminish options in public education. The appeals court sided with the teachers union and Iberville Parish School Board and the case now moves to the Supreme Court for finality. Parents and students now look to the Supreme Court to affirm the District Court’s ruling because charter schools are public schools. The Louisiana constitution requires the state to make quality public school options available to all children.
If the teachers union is successful in their suit, public funding would be discontinued to Type 2 charter schools in the state, which would likely 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 Supreme Court to take into consideration the children and families served by these public charter schools.
STATEMENT FROM CHRISTIN WHITE-KAISER:
“We – the parents and students – are the real stakeholders of public education and our voices need to be heard loud and clear. The union is on the losing side of this issue, aiming to take away the schools that thousands of Louisiana families choose. We hope and pray that the Supreme Court will side with students and parents, protecting the education of 13,000 Louisiana students.”
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.