Monday, July 18, 2016

Southern Poverty Law Foundation challenges (state) constitutionality of Mississippi charter school funding

It's worth watching this case that the Southern Poverty Law Foundation has filed in Mississippi regarding charter school finances.
The lawsuit calls for the court to strike down the funding provisions of the Mississippi Charter School Act (CSA). The Mississippi Constitution requires schools to be under the supervision of the state and local boards of education to receive public funding. But under the CSA, charter schools receive public funding even though they are exempt from the oversight of the state Board of Education, the Mississippi Department of Education, and local boards of education.
Charter schools in Mississippi are accountable to the Mississippi Charter School Authorizer Board, a body that receives 3 percent of the public funding that goes to charter schools.
There's coverage of this from the Hechinger Report here.
Clearly, the way that Mississippi does this is different than Massachusetts, as the authorizer is independent of both the state and the local districts, while in Massachusetts, the authorizer is the state. However, the argument that the state constitution requires the oversight of both the state and the local authority does bear out in Massachusetts.
Good one to watch.

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