Yesterday, a Florida appeals court handed a charter school group a partial victory.
Some legal complications remain for the Florida Charter Educational Foundation, but it prevailed on the key constitutional question — whether the state has the authority to overturn local school board decisions on charter school applications.
The 4th District Court of Appeal’s decision upholding charter school appeals is a big deal. National business and education reform organizations had gotten involved in the case. A statement issued this morning by the National Alliance for Public Charter schools explains what was at stake.
There are many reasons a charter school can be denied their application at the local level – reasons ranging from legitimate concerns to political interests that benefit adults, not students. We are pleased that Florida has upheld the constitutionality of the pathway which allows charter schools that have been denied their application to appeal to the State Board of Education. It is imperative that Florida’s students, and all students, have access to high-quality public school options – and that political interests don’t prevent these options. The State Board of Education will provide an expert and supervisory eye to such appeals processes, and ensure decisions are truly being made with the best interests of students in mind.