Judge Says Opponents Can’t Shut Down Charters – For Now

BATON ROUGE – The Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools (LAPCS) and seven Type 2 charter schools won an initial victory in the 19th Judicial District Court of East Baton Rouge when Judge Wilson Fields denied requests by the Louisiana Association of Educators and the Iberville Parish School Board to immediately strip 33 charter schools of their Minimum Foundation Program (MFP) funding and threaten their closure as of Nov. 15.

          “The Court today acted in the best interest of public education,” said LAPCS Director Caroline Roemer Shirley. “This is a significant, but ultimately small victory. We have protected 33 charters and their funding for now, but the attack on the 13,000 Louisiana children who attend those schools and their right to attend the public school of their choice is far from over.”

         A trial is set for Dec. 5 on the substance of both cases filed by the Louisiana Association of Educators and Iberville Parish School Board against the Louisiana State BESE and the State Department of Education.

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          “As long as there are parties out there that work to put the selfish interest of adults above the needs of our public school children, we will fight them,” said Director Shirley Roemer. “And every dollar they spend is one less dollar Louisiana’s children have in the classroom. We reiterate: Stop litigating; start educating.

         "The suits filed by the unions and Iberville school system would limit school choice statewide, eroding a parent’s right to decide what is best for their child’s education," said LAPCS Director Roemer Shirley.

         Joining the LAPCS in protecting the charters are Community School for Apprenticeship Learning, Inc.; Lake Charles Charter Academy Foundation, Inc.; the International School of Louisiana; New Orleans Military and Maritime Academy, Inc.; the Delta Charter Group; Delhi Charter School; and Glencoe Education Foundation, Inc. They seek to defend funding for approximately 13,000 public charter school students at 33 Type 2 public charter schools across the state.

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         Louisiana has been ranked by National Alliance of Public Charter Schools as having the second strongest charter movement in the nation, and the third strongest charter school law because it provides multiple pathways to authorization of charter schools and full funding for charter schools. The reports also note that the state's charter schools, as a whole, showed higher academic growth when compared to traditional public schools.

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