Have you ever stood on a slab of frozen marble for three hours? My boss and I have. You see, though beautiful, the marble that constitutes the steps and columns of the Supreme Court of the United States are cold in January.
Tracking the special education dollars that support services for students with disabilities attending public schools is complicated; attempting to track the funds to autonomous public charter schools is even more so. Understanding how dollars flow to charter schools requires consideration of multiple and overlapping federal, state, and local district formulas and policies.
On September 4, right before the beginning of the Labor Day holiday weekend, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled that charter schools are unconstitutional and ineligible for public school funds. We are all still shocked by that devastating decision.
On the evening of Nov. 12, 2012, many parents and education reformers had reason to celebrate – a charter school law had passed in the state of Washington after many years of discussion and debate. Washington voters became the first in the nation to approve a public charter school law by ballot initiative, giving hope to many families who sought a new school option for their children.
Today will be the first time in the history of the Texas charter school movement that the case for fair student funding will be made before the Supreme Court of Texas. (Watch it live online)
Posted in Legal
The growth of public charter schools and the need for access to facilities are often inextricably linked. However, charter school leaders face increasing impediments when seeking to access suitable public school buildings or the public funding required to build new school facilities. Worse yet, some charter school opponents have resorted to blocking access to facilities as another method of stifling or undermining charter school expansion. Lack of access to the facilities necessary to accommodate the rising parental demand for charters inevitably places charter school leaders in the precarious position of exploring other facilities options. And one such alternative option is opening a public charter school in a facility owned or operated by a religious institution.
Posted in Legal
This week, the Senate began debating the reauthorization of Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Tucked in the law is a program called the Charter School Program (CSP) that provides critical funds to help launch and replicate new charter schools. As a condition of receiving federal funds, these schools must conduct a blind lottery if they receive more applications than they can accommodate. This provision was put in place due to the long-held belief that charter schools are open enrollment schools and to guard against the potential for some schools to cream the best and the brightest. In reality though, this provision has had a negative impact on charter schools that are trying to attract the most disadvantaged students – as every child gets equal weights when they enter a lottery.