A group suing over how Mississippi’s charter schools are funded and governed is pushing for a quick ruling in the case. The Southern Poverty Law Center, representing a group of Jackson residents, filed a motion for summary judgment Monday, telling Hinds County Chancery Judge Dewayne Thomas that the only dispute in the case involves interpreting the state Constitution, making it ripe for decision. Law center lawyer Jody Owens told reporters Tuesday that plaintiffs want to speed the case along because they ultimately expect an appeal to the state Supreme Court. The challengers say charter schools are barred from getting state money because they are not overseen by the state superintendent or a local school superintendent, and thus under previous state Supreme Court decisions, don’t qualify as “free schools.” The state Constitution says only “free schools” can get public money. That part of the constitution is in a section banning public money for religious schools. … The plaintiffs project that the state and Jackson will transfer $4 million this year to three charter schools. About one-third of that money is collected from property taxes on buildings, vehicles and equipment. …
Parents suing State of Mississippi about charter schools receiving public money
Source: Beth Alexander, WJTV, August 23, 2016
The Southern Poverty Law center announced they’ve asked a Hinds County judge for a summary judgement. They hope to speed up the process to determine if charter schools can constitutionally receive tax payer money. Parents and lawyers want a decision and fast. The Southern Poverty Law Center filed suit against the state in July saying that money taken from the Jackson Public School District and given to charter schools is unconstitutional and that property taxes shouldn’t be shared with schools they don’t control. ….