NEW ORLEANS — Even as the battle over public funding for certain
kinds of charter schools appears headed for the state Supreme Court,
Louisiana Education Superintendent John White is vowing to continue
supporting such institutions, no matter what.
Earlier this month, the 1st Circuit Court of Appeal reversed
a 2015 lower court’s ruling in finding that local and state tax
dollars being designated for so-called Type 2 charter schools is
Type 2 schools are self-governed public schools that operate
independently of any local district and have been certified by the
state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.
Up until now and before the Louisiana Association of Educators
formally filed suit naming the Louisiana Department of Education and
Board of Elementary and Secondary Education as plaintiffs, the
institutions have been at least partly funded with tax monies from
the state’s Minimum Foundation Program.
White has insisted the court’s most recent ruling won’t have
any immediate impact on normal operations.
While expressing confidence that the state high court will agree
to hear the case and provide clarity on the issue once and for all,
White is letting it be known that he plans to remain fully committed
to the concept of Type 2 charters even if it comes to mean having to
find a new means of funding.
In a 3-2 decision, the 1st Circuit concluded that the roughly 40
Type 2s across the state should not be considered public
institutions, and thus are not entitled to the more than $80 million
they have to this point annually received in public funding.
As he prepares for more legal wrangling, White at least knows that
he will have the support of some of the state’s most influential
"The decision handed down from the appeals court is stunning
and wrong," PublicSchoolOptions.org Coalition Chairwoman
Christin White-Kaiser told The Louisiana Record in a
statement. "It also endangers the rights of parents to choose
the best educational option for their child."
itself as a national alliance of parents
fighting to ensure their rights in making the best school choices for
their children are preserved. White-Kaiser estimated that as many as
13,000 local charter-school students could be adversely impacted by
“We urge the state board of education to appeal this decision
and let the Louisiana Supreme Court bring final clarity to the case,”
she said. “We are confident the Supreme Court will side with the
students and families, not the teacher’s union, and assert the
constitutional guarantees and rights of students attending public
Run independently and by nonprofit boards, most
schools are publicly funded and receive certain liberties as long
as they maintain designated standards. Supporters of the system argue
that Type 2s simply give parents across the state another option in
striving to assure the best education for their children.