Missouri judge considers standing of parents in charter school funding debate

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Posted: Jul 14, 2016 4:40 PM

A lawsuit filed in April by St. Louis Public Schools, the NAACP, and co-plaintiffs could mean the loss of tens of millions of dollars to charter schools in the city, and parents of children attending those schools want their voices to be heard, St. Louis Public Radio reports.

In the lawsuit, district schools argue that they should be the sole recipients of sales tax funding. The charter parents argue that the 1999 law governing distribution of the money promises funds to all public school students, not just those in district schools.The lawsuit demands that charter schools repay $42 million in funding they have received over the last decade, a move that would almost certainly bankrupt those schools.

A group of charter parents, led by LaDiva Pierce and Ken Ross Jr., filed a motion this week asking for their voices to be heard before a decision is made. “Since the interests of the Charter Public School parents and children are actually different from the other party’s interests,” the motion says, “and the harms they will suffer are unique and unrepresented by the current parties, they should be permitted to intervene.”