Coalition files lawsuit to block new federal rules for charter schools
A coalition of charter-school advocacy organizations has filed a lawsuit in federal court seeking to block new restrictions on charter schools imposed by the Biden administration, claiming the new rules are “without legal grounding” and “a sneak attack” on charter schools.
The North Carolina Coalition for Charter Schools is one of the organizations to sign on to the lawsuit. The suit, filed by the Pacific Legal Foundation, asks a federal court to block implementation of new rules imposed by the U.S. Department of Education on July 1.
The document filed Friday was an amended complaint. It replaced an earlier version of the lawsuit filed in August. U.S. District Judge Paul Maloney issued an order Monday rejecting the defendants’ motion to dismiss the case.
Those rules apply to the federal Charter Schools Program, which provides federal funding to replicate new charter schools in states across the nation. Although the new regulations were not as severe as those initially considered by the Democrat-controlled Congress, charter advocates are still worried they will have a negative impact.
Among others, the new rules require charters to demonstrate over-enrollment in existing schools before receiving grant funds, demonstrate collaboration with local school districts, and mirror racial balance compared to their local public school district.
“Our organization exists to promote and protect charter schools. All children deserve options in their public schooling, and the onerous restrictions imposed by the Dept. of Education threaten that vision,” said Lindalyn Kakadelis, executive director of the N.C. Coalition for Charter Schools, in a statement.
“This attack on charter schools is not only deeply unfair to kids who would benefit from educational alternatives, it’s illegal,” said Caleb Kruckenberg, an attorney with the Pacific Legal Foundation, in a statement. “The Department of Education has no authority to issue these new rules. The agency cannot advance a policy agenda contrary to Congress’ clear instructions otherwise.”
Editor’s note: This story was updated Nov. 8 to incorporate a federal district court order in the case.