Monday, September 9, 2019

Victory!

The Southern Poverty Law Center tried and failed in its efforts to shut down Mississippi's charter schools.  The Mississippi Supreme Court ruled last week charter schools are constitutional.  Charter school opponents have used the courts with some limited success to stop charter schools in other states. 

The Southern Poverty Law Center represented Evelyn Araujo, Charles Araujo, Cassandra Overton-Welchlin, Lutaya Stewart, and Arthur Brown* The plaintiffs claimed the Charter School Act diverted public money to charter schools.  Dd valorem taxes belonged to the school district and couldn't be given to a school outside of the district's "control," they argued.  The Mississippi Constitution bars the legislature from giving money to any school that is not a "free school". SPLC argued a free school isn't just one that charges no tuition but must also be under the control of both the state and local Superintendents of Education.


They alleged JPS lost more than $1.85 million in funding to charter schools in 2015-2016.  SPLC claims MDE and JPS provided $960,514 to Reimagine Prep and $896,318 to Midtown Charter. They claimed charter schools would cost JPS more than $4 million in 2016-2017.

Hinds County Chancellor Dewayne Thomas ruled the Mississippi Charter School Act is constitutional, allowing the schools to remain open.  However, the plaintiffs were dead set on getting their great white whale and appealed to the Mississippi Supreme Court.

The Supremes thought otherwise and agreed with the Chancellor.  The Court declared:

In light of the Act’s provisions, it is evident that the Plaintiffs did not prove that Section 37-28-55(2) is  unconstitutional beyond a reasonable doubt. Article 8, Section 201, requires the Legislature to “provide for the establishment, maintenance and support of free public schools. . . .” Miss. Const. art. 8, § 201. In addition, Article 8, Section 206, authorizes “[a]ny county or separate school district” to “levy an additional tax, as prescribed by general law, to maintain its schools.” Miss. Const. art. 8, § 206. Charter schools are public schools, and the Act does not establish a charter school as its own school district—separate from the school district within which it is located. Thus, Section 37-28-55(2) does not violate the plain language of Article 8, Section 206. In other words, charter schools are not established as a separate school district and remain a public school of the local school district for the purposes of Article 8, Section 206.

 The Act indicates that a charter school is not a separate school district. The Authorizer Board authorizes charter schools within preexisting school districts the geographic boundaries of the school district within which the school resides, and a charter school’s underserved student composition enrollment “must reflect that of students of all ages attending the school district in which the charter school is located.” Miss. Code Ann. § 37-28-23(1)(a)–(b), (5) (Supp. 2018). Another indication that a charter school is not a separate school district is that school districts, if they publicize their schools, must publicize a charter school as an “as an enrollment option within the district.”

The Plaintiffs argue that a school district’s lack of supervisory control over a charter school under the Act is an indication of the Legislature’s intent to establish charter schools as separate school districts. While it is true that a charter school is exempted from the oversight of a school district, this does not mean that a charter school is a separate, geographic school district. See Miss. Code Ann. § 37-28-39(6) (Rev. 2013). Although a charter school that is “geographically located within the boundaries of a particular school district . . . may not be considered a school within that district under the purview of the school district’s school board,” the Act does not preclude its being considered within the district for other purposes...

The Act exempts the charter school from the control of the school district but did not establish a charter school as a separate geographic district....
the Act did not authorize the charter school to communicate with the levying authority or otherwise to levy its own taxes for its support...
 Rachel Canter of Mississippi First said "Mississippi First is thrilled for the 1,750-plus children receiving their public education from one of the six public charter schools in Mississippi. The ruling unequivocally affirms what we have said all along: public education dollars belong to public school children for their public education; charter schools in Mississippi are public schools; funding charter schools is funding public schools.  Had the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) prevailed, the lawsuit merely would have preserved a status quo that has been unacceptable for a long time."

State Representative Joel Bomgar said  “This is a huge win for kids. The more opportunities our children have, the greater chance for success for each individual child.”

Kingfish note from 2016 post:  The Southern Poverty Law Center files lawsuits over discipline in schools.  Public schools are becoming zoos because principals and administrators are rightfully scared of lawsuits.  SPLC is trying to tie the hands of the Youth Court Judge in Hinds County so we can put more Antwain Dukes and Gerome Moores on the street.  Now the SPLC goes to war for a school district that is failing and is out of control  and seeks to shut down schools that are actually getting the job done and giving relief to these poor children.  Reminds one of the Soviet Commissars who would execute farmers if they couldn't grow crops during a severe drought.  Reality doesn't matter, just The Cause.

The post referred to SPLC as the prime mover in this lawsuit instead of the plaintiffs.  Sources inform JJ that the Southern Poverty Law Center went shopping for plaintiffs and found this group.  However, this was all instigated by SPLC.


 *Plaintiff's background
Cassandra Overton-Welchlin is the President of the JPS PTA. She is a Kellogg fellow and once worked at Southern Echo.  Southern Echo opposes charter schools.
Charles Araujo is on the faculty of Jackson State University.  He was formerly employed at JPS for 21 years.
Evelyn Araujo is a teacher at the Mississippi School for the Deaf.
Lutaya Stewart is a special education teacher at John Hopkins Elementary (JPS).








22 comments:

Anonymous said...

Of course KKKingfish will celebrate a setback in the fight against institutional white supremacy

Anonymous said...

SPLC is full of hate. Look up how they indirectly caused a terror attack at Family Research Council in WDC. They even put sweet little Ben Carson on their hate watch list. No one should take them seriously

Anonymous said...

Maybe now Will Bardwell will have more time for his reb twitter account and buying expensive clothes

Anonymous said...

Nothing like a bunch of fondren white liberals with kids at St. Andrews telling blacks they can't have school choice (charter schools) this is why democrats are wrong to oppose charter schools and school choice data shows black voters largely support charter schools. This is why a lot of blacks voted Republican in Georgia against Stacy Abrams. Also why blacks voted Republican in Florida Desantis over gillum.

Anonymous said...

So using tax dollars is okay? Interesting that you call that a victory?

Cousin Eddie said...

Why isn't there a way to recoup tax payer money from these frivolous lawsuits?

Anonymous said...

Doesn't surprise that Justices King and Kitchens voted for the Southern Poverty Center. They are as predictable as Chuck McCrae and Oliver Diaz were on this court.

Anonymous said...

Good.

Now, maybe these fat cat public school administrations will take notice of new options to help the product of their failures.

F--k the SPLC and Morris Dees.

Anonymous said...

Everybody already has school choice except for the very poor. And in those monopoly public school districts in poor areas, look at how the funds are exploited and how poorly the students perform. Competition brings improvement. Always.

You think Madison and Clinton schools don't have intense competition? Of course they do, that's why they continue to push so hard.

Anonymous said...

Of course KKKingfish will celebrate a setback in the fight against institutional white supremacy.

KF's obsessed stalker makes a quick appearance on this one.


Bill Dees said...

This opinion of the court is extraordinarily disingenuous. If you thought Bill Clinton's "It depends on what the definition of 'is' is.", was ridiculous, this is even worse.

Anonymous said...

Morris Dees?
Dees Nutz!!

Anonymous said...

The SPLC is the nation's second biggest manufacturer of race flags. The NAACP is number one. Posted for a friend.

Anonymous said...

I have worked with Evelyn Araujo, who sent her child to the Montessori School. She is nuttier than a squirrel turd.

Anonymous said...

12:55 - Please explain your comment, as follows: "Everybody already has school choice except for the very poor." If you'd rather not, that's OK.

Anonymous said...

3:05
Sounds like the post means people with financial means have school choice... NE Jackson kids have school choice and pay there way in tuition. The very poor kids go to JPS craphole schools and have school choice if they can get into charter schools. Ride through low income neighborhoods in Jackson midtown or west and see the proud parents display charter school yard signs

Anonymous said...

Looks like one of the charter schools will self-shut down this year with two consecutive "F" scores.

Can't change in society what momma hasn't started in the home.

Some women shouldn't have children.

Anonymous said...

The SPLC is a hate group, far more of a hate group than many they point that label toward.

Anonymous said...

11:55- Frank, please go back to the JFP website? Okay?

Anonymous said...

Any data available on how well the charter schools are performing?

Anonymous said...

@12:01

They suck like the rest of JPS. Lipstick on a pig, and another mouth at the trough.

Anonymous said...

12:01...during the initial trial period, that's rather beside the point. It's important that children are in a safe environment and one the gives them a chance. Would you rather they NOT have this chance?

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If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

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