Charter school calls court ruling a win for students and parents

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The Louisiana Supreme Court has ruled in favor of Type 2 Charter Schools be able to continue to receive Minimum Foundation Program (MFP) money from the state.           

The ruling reverses an appeals court ruling that would have paved the way for charters to lose that money.

MFP funds are state dollars public schools can receive for each attending student. Under the court ruling, those dollars can continue to follow the student from the public school to the charter.     

According to a statement released by Colleen Reynolds, spokesperson for Charter Schools USA, Acadiana Renaissance Charter Academy and Lafayette Renaissance Charter Academy:

“The students and parents in Louisiana scored a tremendous victory with this ruling.  The Louisiana Supreme Court turned this lawsuit around and finally made it about the children.  This is not a win for charter schools. This is a win for students and parents who want quality academic choices.” 

At the Lafayette Parish School System, the ruling equates to about $19 million a year for about 2,000 students who made the switch to charter.

LPSS Chief Financial Officer Billy Guidry says the financial adjustments are behind them in terms of cuts. “At the end of the day it’s about the students but we also have to make sure we have the financial resources to accommodate their needs.”

Guidry says not only state dollars but the district loses a percentage of its local revenue.

Also, a percentage of the dedicated 2002 sales tax, follows the student.  LPSS will have to replace that money because it’s committed funding.  

Guidry says there’s also the expense side to consider.  “If 2,000 students leave our system we still have the same number of buildings to maintain, the heat, keeping it cool and so forth.”

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