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Louisiana Appeals Court Rules Charter School Funding Unconstitutional

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Statement on Louisiana Appeals Court Ruling Regarding Charter School Funding 

January 10, 2017

WASHINGTON, DC — The following statement was issued today by Jeanne Allen, founder and CEO of the Center for Education Reform, regarding the Louisiana Appeals Court ruling in the Iberville Parish School Board vs. Louisiana State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education case:

“Yesterday’s decision by Louisiana’s First Circuit Court of Appeal which finds state funding for Type 2 Charter Schools in the state to be unconstitutional is deeply flawed and will undoubtedly be overturned by the state Supreme Court.

“As two of the court’s five judges declared in their dissent, “The majority’s tortured interpretation of article VIII, §13(B) [of the state Constitution] is not supported by the plain language of the article or any judicial interpretation.”

“The decision relies on an irrational finding that the constitution allows funding only for “city or parish school systems,” which is plainly not the case. The constitution and Louisiana law require that the state fund “all public elementary and secondary schools,” which includes charter schools, and the constitution requires only that the allocation of state funds be equitable.

“The lawsuit challenging charter school funding was brought by the teacher’s union – the Louisiana Association of Educators (LAE) – and is yet another indication of the extremes to which they will go to prevent parents from choosing the schools that will do the best job of educating their children.

“Charter schools were a godsend to the children of New Orleans, where the traditional public schools had been a basket case for years before Hurricane Katrina and collapsed completely after the storm. Charters immediately picked up where the old schools had failed, and rescued the futures of thousands of children. The LAE would take the state back to time to a when parents and children were trapped in failing schools and had no hope. It is urgent that the Louisiana Supreme Court take this case on appeal and overturn today’s ruling.”