The parents of about 16,000 students can exhale: their children's schools will get their paycheck from the state next week after all. The 1st Circuit Court of Appeals granted a stay of its own decision Friday (Jan. 20) that would have blocked the funding of 32 charter schools.
The court ruled 3-2 Jan. 9 that the current way of funding those schools is illegal. The case applies only to schools that the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has authorized since 2008, which in New Orleans are Lycee Francais, International High and the New Orleans Military/Maritime Academy.
Both the appellate and Baton Rouge district court had previously denied the stay, triggering anxiety among parents and teachers.
The current freeze extends only through Feb. 8 and is designed "to allow any party aggrieved by the January 9 judgment an opportunity to (appeal) to the Supreme Court of Louisiana," the decision says. If the defendants do that -- which is Education Superintendent John White's plan -- "this stay will automatically be extended until the Supreme Court has disposed of the case."
The appellate court's decision Friday was 4-1, with Judge Jewel E. "Duke" Welch in the minority. He was one of the three judges who ruled against the Louisiana Education Department and BESE earlier this month.
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified the gender of Judge Welch.
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