BATON ROUGE–The Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools (LAPCS) and seven Type 2 charter schools won a major victory in the 19th Judicial Court of East Baton Rouge when Judge Wilson Fields upheld the constitutional rights of Type 2 charter schools to receive Minimum Foundation Program (MFP) funding, along with the constitutionality of the existing funding formula that governs MFP.
“We are thrilled that the Court has sided with the students and families of Type 2 charter schools across the state in making this decision,” said LAPCS Executive Director Caroline Roemer Shirley. “This is an incredibly important win for not just the 33 Type 2 charters across the state, but those who advocate for and believe in parent choice when it comes to public education.”
Last fall, LAPCS and seven Type 2 charter schools teamed up to intervene and counter a lawsuit filed by the Iberville Parish School Board and the Louisiana Association of Educators (LAE) that sought to strip MFP funding from Type 2 charter schools and invalidate the state’s current MFP funding formula, which is allocated on a per-pupil basis. Currently, Louisiana is home to 33 Type 2 charter schools that serve approximately 18,000 students.
“We’re so thankful that Judge Fields stood with parents to make sure our children have an equal opportunity for a quality public education,” said Jennette Franklin, a mother of five children with two currently enrolled in Louisiana Virtual Academy. “Options like charter schools are important to parents in Louisiana. Every child learns differently and we’re grateful to have access to the schools that best meet our needs.”
“We strongly believe that state funding for public education should follow the child, not the school district. Judge Field’s ruling ensures that all students who attend public schools — whether it’s a charter school or a traditional district school — receive public dollars equitably,” said Roemer Shirley.
“If the unions and Iberville school system had their way, only those schools run by outdated district systems would receive MFP funds,” she said. “Not only does this approach deny funds for students who attend other types of public schools, but it severely limits a parent’s right to choose the educational option that is best for their child.”
“We celebrate today’s decision as a victory, but we know the fight to protect parent choice and equitable resources for charter schools is far from over. We’ll continue to advocate on behalf of students and parents across the state who deserve a choice in quality educational options,” said Roemer Shirley.
Type 2 charter schools joining LAPCS in the lawsuit include 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, Inc.; Delhi Charter School; and Glencoe Education Foundation, Inc.
About the Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools
The Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools (LAPCS) is a 501c3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to support, promote and advocate for the Louisiana charter school movement, increasing student access to high quality public schools statewide.
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. Reports also note that the state’s charter schools, as a whole, showed higher academic growth when compared to traditional public schools.
Learn more about LAPCS at https://lacharterschools.org.