THE LAW QUESTION OF THE WEEK:
Which school choice laws changed this year? Are you watching for new legislation in the next session?
GO TO: CONTACT on the Home Page to post a reply.
Are there legislative priorities for:
— Charter Schools?
— Public Schools?
— Tax Credit Scholarships?
HERE ARE COMPARISONS ACROSS STATES, FIND YOUR STATE. IS A HIGH RANKING GOOD?
- Charter School Laws and Legislation. Center for Educational Reform 2014.
- Charter School Law Rankings and Score Card. Center for Educational Reform. 2014.
- Education Law Center Education Justice. Individual tracking of state law suits.
- The Essential Guide to Charter School Law 2012 National Ranking and Score Card. Center for Educational Reform. 2013.4
DO YOU KNOW ABOUT THE CHARTER EXPANSION BILL THE U.S. LEGISLATURE JUST PASSED?
- Kline Announces Bipartisan Charter School Legislation. Education Week. May 2014.
HERE ARE SOME STATE LEGISLATION PROPOSALS
- PENNSYLVANIA. Charter and Cyber Charter School Reform Update and Comprehensive Reform Legislation 2013. Pennsylvania Democratic House Education Committee.
- OHIO: Taking the right of education out of state constitutions. Education Justice. May 2014.
- KANSAS, NJ, PENNSYLVANIA. Abandon School Funding Tied to Standards. Education Justice. May 2014.
WHEN THERE ARE LAWS, THERE ARE LAWSUITS!
What is happening in your state? See the list below and add to it. It would be interesting to do a post on the types of lawsuits that are in process. Some are about the constitutionality of choice programs, some are funding issues, civil rights, equity, and others. A good site to review court decisions is Education Justice.
Topic: Tax credit scholarship program
- Southern Legal Poverty Center filed suit against State in 2013. Argument that tax credit voucher were a civil rights and equal opportunity violation. Case dismissed by federal judge in April 2014.
- Ross et. al vs State filed by Alabama Education Association ruled Accountability Act was unconstitutional in May, 2014. The Accountability Act included provisions for tuition income tax credit for families and funding for private schools. An appeal was filed.
Topic: Private school voucher program
- Larue vs. Colorado Board of Education filed by the ACLU against a pilot program for vouchers. The trial court held that the program was unconstitutional, but on appeal, the court reversed the trial court. The case has been appealed to the State Supreme Court. amici briefs
Topic: Education funding
- Dwyer vs. Colorado. Keep the Promise to Fund Schools as Colorado Constitution Requires. Education Justice. July 2014.
Topic: School choice constitutionality
- Citizens for Strong Schools filed by the Southern Legal Counsel in 2009. In 2013, State Supreme Court upheld right of judicial system to question legislative educational policy. Amended complaint filed in 2014 by SLC against the Florida Department of Education charging that the State of Florida is violating its constitutional mandate to provide a uniform, efficient, safe, secure, and high quality system of free public schools, and preK educational opportunities.
Topic: Tax credit scholarship constitutionality
- McCall et al vs. Rick Scott et al. Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program. Filed by Florida Education Association in 2014. The Florida LWV is a plaintiff. In Bush vs. Holmes, Florida’s Supreme Court ruled in 1999 that vouchers were unconstitutional.
Topic: Private school vouchers
- Meredith et al vs. Daniels et al filed by Institute for Justice. State Supreme Court ruled that the Choice Opportunity Program vouchers for low and middle income families was constitutionality.
Topic: Private school voucher prograam
- Brumfield vs. Dodd provides vouchers to low income families from ‘C – F’ public schools. Over 90% of recipients are black. The U.S. Department of Justice ruled in November 2013 that the voucher program impeded desegregation plan. The program provided vouchers for The Goldwater Institute filed an appeal.
LAWSUITS: NEW HAMPSHIRE
Topic: Private school vouchers
- In Duncan vs. State of New Hampshire (2013) the State Superior court ruled that vouchers for religious schools were unconstitutional but were allowed for private schools. State Supreme Court will hear the case.
LAWSUITS: NEW JERSEY
Topic: Funding for low income districts. Bacon vs. NJDOE 2014
LAWSUITS: NEW MEXICO
Topic: Right to education and adequate support for at risk children. Martinez vs. State of New Mexico. Filed by MALDEF.
LAWSUITS: NEW YORK
Topic: Funding for low income districts. Maisto vs. State of New York 2014
LAWSUITS: NORTH CAROLINA
Topic: Private school vouchers
- Institute for Justice filed a lawsuit to defend Opportunity Scholarships. January 2014.
- Hart vs. North Carolina. North Carolina Association of Educators suit filed in 2013 opposing vouchers.
- North Carolina School Boards Association suit filed in 2013 opposing vouchers. In August 2014, the Superior Court judge ruled that Opportunity Scholarships were unconstitutional. Private schools do not meet accountability requirements. Case on appeal.
Topic: School funding
- Leandro case ruling in 2001 that North Carolina was not providing adequate and appropriate funding for at-risk students. This is an on going case. In 2013, the issue of adequate coverage for preK schooling for at risk students was raised after budget cuts were made. Court ruled that Leandro case ruligs still in effect, but constitutionality of legislative actions in 2012 were not before the court.
- Hoke County vs. North Carolina. NC Policy Watch. 2013. NC Supreme Court rules on PreK Case. See also: https://nces.ed.gov/edfin/pdf/lawsuits/Hoke_v_NC_IV.pdf
Topic: Private school vouchers. Zelman vs. Simmons-Harris. Cleveland Scholarship and Tutoring Program 2002. Federal U.S. constitution’s Establishment Clause used to defeat case to overturn vouchers. U.S. Supreme Court ruled that vouchers were legal if they were neutral with respect to religion. Legal Information Institute, Cornell University.
Topic: Constitutionality. Taking the Right of Education Out of State Constitutions. Education Justice. May 2014.
Topic: Students with Exceptionalities. Lawsuit by Educators Attacks OK Scholarship Program for Special Needs Children. Oliver et al vs. Barresi. 2013.
Topic: Funding . PARSS and NAACP v. Legislative leaders et al. In 2011, the legislature stopped using funding formulas and stopped trying to close funding gaps. Districts must use property taxes which is a disadvantage for low income areas.
LAWSUITS: RHODE ISLAND
Topic: School Funding. RI Supreme Court is deeply concerned but denies relief to school children. Education Justice. 2014.
LAWSUITS: WASHINGTON STATE
Topic: Constitutional limits of funding to charter schools. League of Women Voters et al vs. State filed in July, 2013. Appeal filed in State Supreme Court August, 2014 re charter school funding. Washington lawsuit summary judgment.