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EDUCATION Supreme Court to hear charter school case



Published: Thu, February 17, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Opponents say the schools take money away from public schools.

COLUMBUS (AP) -- The Ohio Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to consider a lawsuit filed by a coalition of opponents of charter schools who claim the publicly funded, privately run schools violate parts of the Ohio Constitution.

The court, in a 6-1 decision with Justice Terrence O'Donnell dissenting, agreed to hear both the opponents' and the state's appeals of an August ruling by the 10th Ohio District Court of Appeals in Columbus.

That court said the trial court must hear arguments on claims that charter schools aren't subject to the same academic standards as traditional public school and must decide whether charter schools receive a portion of local property taxes in addition to state aid, in violation of the constitution.

However, the appeals court rejected a key part of the opponents' argument, that charter schools aren't part of the constitutionally required system of common schools.

A coalition of teachers unions and other groups of educators opposed to charter schools say they drain needed money from public schools while failing to meet academic standards.




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