Federal judge will hear D.C. charter school case on equitable funding

By   /   October 6, 2015  /   No Comments

AP file photo

CHARTER FUNDING: A federal judge will hear a case on D.C. charter school equitable funding.

A federal judge has agreed to hear a case that alleges Washington, D.C. does not provide equitable funding to D.C. charter schools and traditional public schools.

The complaint was filed in federal court in 2014 by the D.C. Association of Public Chartered Public Schools, Eagle Academy and Washington Latin public charter schools and contends the city shorted charter school funding by more than $770 million, or $1,600 to $2,600 per pupil, and is a violation of the School Reform Act of 1995.

Former D.C. attorney Irvin B. Nathan asked the court to dismiss the case last year, arguing that the District has the right to make its own decisions when it comes to funding but U.S. District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan wants the case to move forward.

Chutkan wrote in in her opinion that it is unclear if the D.C. Council conflicted with Congress’s will in establishing the act.

The law established charter schools and mandated the two systems receive the same per-pupil funding.

Some have argued that the case would threaten D.C.’s ability to govern itself. The District has struggled with Congress in recent years over gun laws and marijuana legalization and many locals want D.C. to become a state.

The judge did dismiss a portion of the case that alleged the city had violated the supremacy clause of the Constitution, because it does not apply to congressional laws that pertain to just the District.

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Moriah formerly served as staff reporter for Watchdog.org.