In 2001 a group of public school employee unions brought litigation against the State of Ohio, various charter schools including ECOT, and their management companies.
That the state’s charter school legislation which permitted privately operated schools to receive public money was unconstitutional.
The 2005 oral arguments are strikingly similar to the issues now being debated. Those archived oral arguments can be viewed here.
Fortunately, the Ohio Supreme Court, by a narrow 4-3 majority, upheld the constitutionality of this system.
Unfortunately, those that want to shut down every charter school in Ohio haven’t given up. They are now trying to overturn this seminal 2006 decision through a series of backdoor legal actions tied to the current ECOT litigation.
Let me explain:
In 2016 during the midst of the presidential primaries, a group of school choice opponents within the Ohio Department of Education, along with the Governor’s office, discovered a way to go after online charter schools. As a result of their actions, the largest online school, ECOT, was closed. 3rd Rail Politics has extensively covered this issue.
Additionally, six other smaller online schools have closed while three are struggling on repayment plans.
Those efforts were just the beginning.
Now, unless the Ohio Supreme Court overturns the lower courts and find those efforts unlawful, the path will be clear for bureaucrats and ambitious politicians to eliminate all of Ohio’s charter schools.
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