Missouri’s Charter School Act Survives Challenge

     (CN) – Missouri’s Charter School Act survived a challenge by the Kansas City Municipal School Bard in the state supreme court.

     The school board claimed that the act allowed money from the local tax levy to be diverted from the public schools to the charter schools.
     It also claimed the act created an unfunded mandate, reducing the amount of real dollars at the school district’s disposal as enrollment decreased.
     Judge Laura Denvir Stith of the Missouri Supreme Court affirmed a trial court’s ruling that the act does not violate the Missouri Constitution.
     “While the amount of state funds paid to the KCMSD per pupil pursuant to the foundation formula is reduced by an amount equivalent to the amount the state pays to these district charter schools per pupil based on the local levy, the money paid to these charter schools is state money, not locally levied funds,” Stith ruled.
     “Second, even were the calculation used by the legislature considered to be an indirect transfer of locally levied funds to district charter schools, (the state constitution) permits used of the monies locally levied under it for ‘all school purposes of the district.’ Missouri law is clear that the charter schools within KCMSD are public schools of the district, and, therefore, their use of the levy for school children of the district is not barred,” she added.

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