Several charter schools in Michigan and Ohio are suing the Department of Education (DOE) over a new rule that allegedly makes obtaining grants more difficult by making charter schools prove public schools are over-enrolled, according to the lawsuit.
The new rule by the DOE began on Aug. 5 and requires charter schools applying for grants to show public schools are over-enrolled, get approval from public schools and demonstrate that the public schools are not serving large numbers of racial minority students, according to the Aug. 8 lawsuit. Michigan’s Charter School Association and the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, which oversees 13 Ohio charter schools, filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan saying the guidance is illegal and punishes charter schools.
“This new rule will profoundly harm children who need the educational opportunities that charter schools provide,” Dan Quisenberry, president of Michigan’s Charter School Association, said in a press release. “Charter schools shouldn’t be punished just because traditional public schools — and the current administration — don’t like them.”
Congress passed the “Expanding Opportunity Through Quality Charter Schools Act,” which allocated millions of federal funds for charter schools, in 2015, the lawsuit stated. In March 2022, the DOE proposed the new rules after Congress approved $440 million for charter schools, adding the new requirements to receive grants.
The lawsuit argues that the new rules violate the “Expanding Opportunity Through Quality Charter Schools Act,” and the administration does not have the jurisdiction to do that.
“The Department’s sneak attack on the charter school program, and on the students caught in the middle, must be set aside by this Court,” the lawsuit states.
Michigan’s Charter School Association and Thomas B. Fordham Institute did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment. The DOE declined to comment.
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