Teachers union backing Landrieu files anti-charter school lawsuit

A teachers union that endorsed Democratic incumbent Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., is suing the state of Louisiana to restrict funding for charter schools.

The Louisiana Association of Educators (LAE) filed a lawsuit in the 19th Judicial District Court in Baton Rouge on Monday that would eliminate $60 million for dozens of schools.

The lawsuit attacks charters as insufficiently “public,” and bemoans that school systems, and teachers unions, have “no control whatsoever” over charter schools. Charter schools are publicly funded, but privately run.

“While charter schools are defined by statute as ‘public schools,’ charter schools lack many of the attributes of ‘public schools’ and, in Louisiana, are specifically exempted from many of the statutory and regulatory requirements applicable to the public schools that are operated by parish and city school boards,” the lawsuit said.

The LAE is attacking the funding stream of charter schools in the same manner that the state’s school voucher program was scrutinized. Teachers unions successfully forced the Louisiana Scholarship Program to be funded separately from the state’s Minimum Foundation Program (MFP), which currently funds charters and public schools.

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