1/19/2016 – Washington, D.C. – The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, together with other organizations committed to educational quality and choice, filed an amicus brief on Tuesday, January 19, in Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal. The brief asks the court to affirm that the Florida Board of Education has the authority to review appeals when charter school applications are rejected by local school boards.
In December 2014, the Palm Beach County School Board rejected an application to open South Palm Beach Charter School. The charter school operator appealed the school board’s decision to Florida’s Charter School Appeal Commission, which unanimously recommended that the school board’s denial be overturned. The Florida Board of Education agreed and overturned the Palm Beach County School Board’s decision. The Palm Beach County School Board then filed suit challenging the Board of Education’s ruling and its constitutional authority to overturn a local school board decision.
“Charter public schools are helping to ensure that more children, from all economic backgrounds, have access to high-quality schools,” said Nina Rees, president and CEO of the National Alliance. “The growth and expansion of charter schools should be based on the educational needs of students, parental demand for more choices, and the quality of schools. In Florida and other states, the state-level appeals process for charter applications helps to ensure that students’ needs come first.”
The National Alliance filed the brief along with the Florida Charter School Alliance, the Urban League of Greater Miami, the Hispanic Council for Reform and Educational Options, Associated Industries of Florida, and the Foundation for Excellence in Education.
“There are nearly one million student names on waiting lists to get into charter public schools across America,” Rees added. “Leaders at the state and local level should do everything they can to support the creation and expansion of high-quality charter schools to meet the needs of these students.”
The case is The School Board of Palm Beach County v. Florida Charter Educational Foundation, Inc., and South Palm Beach Charter School.
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About Charter Schools
Charter schools are independent, public, and tuition-free schools that are given the freedom to be more innovative while being held accountable for advancing student achievement. Since 2010, many research studies have found that students in charter schools do better in school than their traditional school peers. For example, one study by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes at Stanford University found that charter schools do a better job teaching low income students, minority students, and students who are still learning English than traditional schools. Separate studies by the Center on Reinventing Public Education and Mathematica Policy Research have found that charter school students are more likely to graduate from high school, go on to college, stay in college and have higher earnings in early adulthood.
About the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools
The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools is the leading national nonprofit organization committed to advancing the public charter school movement. Our mission is to lead public education to unprecedented levels of academic achievement by fostering a strong charter movement. For more information, please visit www.publiccharters.org.