When the Charter Schools Act was enacted in 1992, the State called on educators to launch new innovative public schools that would rise to meet the needs of students in the 21st century. Since the 1800s, school has looked much the same – tens of children sitting in desks before teachers for hours a day, five days a week. Over the past few decades, educational leaders answered that call and built schools of the future that are completely different – schools where all learning is personalized to meet the needs and interests of each student, at the location and time that is right for each student. These public schools of the future provide families with a range of options from fully virtual to a hybrid of on-campus and at-home learning all done with the support of teachers, facilities, technology, curriculum, and extracurricular activities.
Contrary to the longstanding rule that funding follows the student to their new public school – the bargain on which these schools of the future have always operated – over summer 2020, the State decided that it would not fund new students at these kinds of public schools in the 2020-21 school year – students who these schools had already enrolled. In doing so, the State breached its constitutional, statutory, and contractual obligations to fund each student’s education at the public school that they choose. On September 24, 2020, a coalition of students and public charter schools filed a class-action lawsuit challenging the State’s decision to defund the educations of thousands of students, Reyes v. State of California. On March 11, 2021, the Court granted plaintiffs’ motion for class certification, affirming that 308 public schools operating innovative educational programs can litigate their funding claims against the State together as a united coalition. The merit of the case is set to be heard by the Court on July 2, 2021.
Reyes v. State of California
The Classical Academies
River and Empire Springs Charter Schools
The Learning Choice Academy
River and Empire Springs Charter Schools are tuition-free, public schools of choice serving more than 8,000 California school children and their parents. Springs serves students in the Counties of Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Orange, and Los Angeles.
The Classical Academies are tuition-free, Certified California Public Charter Schools serving North San Diego County, with over 5,500 students in grades TK-12. The Classical Academies serves students from 39 cities across San Diego.
The Learning Choice Academy is a public hybrid school. They incorporate both school and parent involvement in educating students. Families can choose between a 100% virtual program, or a hybrid program, with three days on campus and two days remote.
YM&C #FundAllKidsNow information does not constitute legal advice but is solely intended as a general resource to assist charter schools. For specific legal advice under the particular facts of your school’s situation, legal counsel should be consulted.