Heartland Institute Experts React to the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Lawsuit
Against Charter Schools
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) on Monday filed a lawsuit against the state of Mississippi, alleging its funding of charter schools is unconstitutional. The suit claims the funding illegally diverts tax money away from public schools: Charter schools allegedly don’t receive oversight from the Mississippi Department of Education and local school boards, a requirement for funding under the Mississippi Constitution.
The following statements from education policy experts at The Heartland Institute – a free-market think tank – may be used for attribution. For more comments, refer to the contact information below. To book a Heartland guest on your program, please contact New Media Specialist Donald Kendal at [email protected] and 312/377-4000.
“It is disappointing to see a group whose goal for children is ensuring vulnerable children have ‘access to a quality education’ and ‘equal opportunities’ is seeking to deny children who are the most underserved access to a quality education. Every child deserves access to a quality education and not to be trapped in a perpetually failing school as the SPLC is attempting to do. Charter schools have been proven to work for the everyone, especially the most vulnerable.”
“This suit is nothing more than a rearguard action by a group of retrogressives wanting to deny freedom of choice to the very southern, impoverished people they claim to be standing up for. I doubt even the SPLC thinks this case will go anywhere, but hey, at least they can thump their chests about it in their next feverish, overwrought direct mail fundraising letter.
“Parents are fed up with the dismal-quality public schools they are forced to send their children to (more than 7 in 10 Mississippi Democrats are in favor of education choice) and Mississippi legislators have finally responded. Whatever judge receives this case would be wise to do what I do when I receive something in the mail from the SPLC: rip it up and toss it in the garbage.”
“The lawsuit by the Southern Poverty Law Center if successful will hurt the low-income families they claim to represent. The charter school reforms passed by the legislature are intended to create more competition in public education while providing parents, especially those in Jackson, with more options for their children.
“Mississippi is a state falling behind nationally and this lawsuit is yet another attempt to keep the dismal status quo.”
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