Answer Sheet: Kentucky Judge Rules State Charter School Law Is Unconstitutional
The central question in this constitutional analysis is whether the privately owned and operated ‘charter schools’, which are established by this legislation, should be considered “common schools” or “public schools” within the meaning of Sections 183, 184 and 186 of the Kentucky Constitution? A review of the case law, and the plain language of the Kentucky Constitution itself, yields the inescapable conclusion that “charter schools” are not “public schools” or “common schools” within the meaning of our state’s 1891 Constitution …
This charter school legislation is effectively an attempt to bypass the system of common schools, and establish a separate class of publicly funded but privately controlled schools that have unique autonomy in management and operation of schools. This `separate and unequal’ system of charter schools is inconsistent with the constitutional requirements for a common school system. The common schools must be open to every child, and operated, managed and fully accountable to the taxpaying public.
Whether the charter schools envisioned by HB 9 are good or bad, they are outside the scope and definition of the 'common schools” defined by our Ky. Constitution
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