REGION – A class action lawsuit filed by three local public charter schools against government defunding has been certified to represent more than 300 public charter schools across the state.
The lawsuit, which was filed in September 2020 and is led by The Classical Academies, River and Empire Springs charter schools and the Learning Choice Academy, questions the California state’s decision not to allow newly enrolled students to be “non-classroom resident.” “Fund facilities. public charter schools specializing in home, remote or hybrid learning.
In California, a school is considered non-classroom based if more than 20% of the learning takes place off-campus. These types of schools often serve students who are immunocompromised or in the hospital, students who have been bullied in other schools, students who are either academically retarded or advanced, Olympic athletes, actors, homeless people, or who move frequently in the military because of their parents.
Historically, California’s education funding followed the student, which means that when a student leaves a public school for a public charter school, funding for that particular student follows them to the new school.
Last summer, the state decided not to fund new students at these particular types of public charter schools in the 2020-2021 school year.
“For the first time, government funding didn’t follow the student,” said Cameron Curry, executive director at Classical Academies.
By this point, Classical Academies and other similar public charter schools had already enrolled students for that school year, which meant they would have to feed these new students without the government funding they traditionally had.
The lawsuit alleges that 5-year-old Olena Reyes was put on the waiting list due to the defunding move at Classical Academies, which prevented her from going to school with her older brother Santino and access to a potentially useful one Blocked Education Program That Will Help Young Girl Who Likes Her Brother Is On Autism Spectrum.
Curry said the school, which has multiple campus locations in Escondido and Oceanside, needed to dip into its reserves to continue serving the nearly 1,200 students it had already enrolled last summer before the state decided to charter outside of the classroom to devalue schools.
There was an influx of students from public schools in the regional charter schools due to the COVID-19 pandemic last year, especially at the beginning when some school districts were slow to react. Classic academies, on the other hand, have turned quickly, said Curry.
“The parents did not get anything from their local school district,” he said. “When they heard that Classical Academies students were virtually meeting teachers, they thought, ‘I want this for my child.'”
According to the Classical Academies and their legal representatives, the state has violated its constitutional, legal and contractual obligations to fund the education of every student at the public school it has chosen.
Last month, a state court ordered the lawsuit to be classed. This was the first class action lawsuit involving charter schools in California.
The court’s order to issue class certification matters as a victory will go to the state’s 308 charter schools, which serve nearly 200,000 students and ensure their right to funding.
“We now have the weight of 308 schools, which is 29 percent of all public charter schools in the state with our litigation,” said Paul Minney, attorney at Young, Minney & Corr, LLP, who represents the plaintiff schools. “This decision elevates these schools and affirms the needs they all have for access to constitutionally guaranteed funding for students and their public education.”
Curry said he was looking forward to the day of the lawsuit, which is currently slated for July. However, the struggle can continue for some time after this hearing.
“I assume we will win the case and the state will appeal,” said Curry.