Appeals court decision could immediately cut off funding causing schools to close mid-school year
BATON ROUGE, La. – Today PublicSchoolOptions.org (PSO) called on the Iberville Parish School Board to immediately withdraw its opposition to the motion for stay requested by the defendants, so that hundreds of its resident students and families, and over 16,000 public charter school students statewide, do not have their education ripped out from underneath them mid-school year.
A hearing on the motion for stay will occur on Friday morning at the trial court.
Last week, in a lawsuit led by the Iberville Parish School Board and several of the state’s teacher’s unions, the Louisiana First Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the funding formula for 32 Type 2 charter schools serving over 16,000 students in the state is unconstitutional. The public charter schools have filed for a stay on the decision and will appeal this ruling to the Supreme Court, which has the ultimate say on constitutional issues such as the funding formula at issue in this case.
The First Circuit Court of Appeals, however, did not specify when its order is effective, jeopardizing the ability of these public schools to serve students for even the rest of this school year because funding would be cut off immediately. If the order were effective immediately, the schools would be forced to abruptly close, leaving 16,000 students without an education. Even if the Louisiana Supreme Court finds the funding formula is constitutional, these public schools will have already been wiped out, along with teachers’ jobs, taking away the education of thousands of students. The damage could be irreversible.
As plaintiffs in the case who claim to have the best interests of students at heart, the Iberville Parish School Board and teacher’s unions should immediately withdraw their opposition to the stay so students can continue their education while the case moves to the Louisiana Supreme Court.
STATEMENT FROM CHRISTIN WHITE-KAISER, PUBLICSCHOOLOPTIONS.ORG LOUISIANA PARENT LEADER:
“We implore the members of the Iberville Parish School Board and teacher’s union to withdraw their opposition to the motion for stay so our children don’t lose their education mid-school year. The impact of sudden closure, affecting more than 16,000 students at 32 schools, will be devastating for these families, some whom have no other option than to send their children back to schools that previously failed them. Opposing this stay is completely selfish and puts their interests above children. The union and school board have the opportunity to do the right thing and support the stay so these children can continue their education while we wait for a final decision from the Supreme Court. We sincerely hope they will do the right thing.”
PublicSchoolOptions.org is a national alliance of 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 these public schools for all children.