State Supreme Court upholds charter school funding ruling

The Mississippi Supreme Court has upheld a ruling involving charter school funding. 

The state’s highest court upheld the ruling made by a Hinds County Court in 2018, ruling that Mississippi’s Charter School Act of 2013 is constitutional. The Southern Poverty Law Center filed the original lawsuit in 2016 and argued that part of the Act’s funding mechanism was unconstitutional.

According to the Mississippi Justice Institute, the provision in question requires public schools to share the tax revenues collected for education with charter schools in their district, based on the number of students who attend those charter schools. The court held that this funding mechanism was constitutional because charter schools are public schools and are associated with the school district in which they are located.

The MJI, which represented three parents in the lawsuit, stated that if the funding mechanism was deemed unconstitutional, the state’s charter schools could have shut down. 

“This ruling is a major victory for parents who simply want what every parent wants: the ability to choose the best possible education for their children,” said Aaron Rice, Director of the Mississippi Justice Institute. “We are happy for our clients and for every parent and student in Mississippi who will continue to have increased educational choices because of this ruling.”

Currently, six charter schools are open in Mississippi.