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Charter School Law argued before Hinds County judge

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JACKSON – Tuesday morning in the Hinds County Chancery Court, Judge Dewayne Thomas heard oral arguments on a motion to de-fund the Mississippi Charter School Association. 

It was filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center against the State of Mississippi. Mike Hurst, the Director of the Mississippi Justice Institute, joined the fight to represent parents of children who attend the schools in question.

“We argued on behalf of the students who are attending charter public schools here  in Jackson, and their parents, against a lawsuit brought by the Southern Poverty Law Center that seeks to shut down these schools and send students back to failing schools here in Jackson,” said Hurst.

According to the motion the Southern Poverty Law Center is calling for the court to strike down the funding provisions of the MCSA (Mississippi Charter School Association). Charter schools receive public funding for operation, but do not adhere to the state board of education. They function under their own individual boards.

RELATED: Lawsuit filed against charter schools

The case was filed on July 11, 2016 and named Araujo v. Governor Phil Bryant. Arguments were heard from both sides on Tuesday, April 4, 2017. The court gave both parties until May 10 to file any findings of facts and conclusions of law, with rebuttals due by June 21.

“These parents are also tax payers and the Mississippi Constitution authorizes their tax dollars to be used in allowing their children to attend non-traditional public schools that truly meet their needs. If the Southern Poverty Law Center prevails in its lawsuit to shut down charter public schools, other non-traditional public schools would also shut down, including Mississippi’s agricultural schools, alternative schools, the Mississippi School for Match and Science and the Mississippi School for the Arts.”

RELATED: PEER review of charter schools accountability 

For a full list of motions in this case visit HERE. 

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