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Education

W.Va. Supreme Court Issues Stay In Charter School Lawsuit

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Thorney Lieberman
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West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals

The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals voted on Thursday that charter schools in the state can continue as planned for now.

In December, the Kanawha County Circuit Court issued a preliminary injunction temporarily halting the creation of five public charter schools approved by the West Virginia Professional Charter School Board.

Three of those schools would be brick-and-mortar, while two would be virtual.

The concern by the circuit court was on the constitutionality in which charter schools are approved. Prosecutors argued the state’s charter law is unconstitutional, because it allows the approval of public charter schools without the direct involvement of voters.

The stay issued by the state’s highest court allows the schools to open as planned, while an appeal is heard.

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said in a statement he agrees with the supreme court’s ruling and hopes to see a full reversal of the circuit court’s order.

“The stay will give the charter schools that have already been approved the ability to prepare for the upcoming school year while the case is being briefed and argued,” Morrisey said. “The stay also prevents West Virginians from being deprived of the option to send their children to charter schools while this litigation moves forward.”

All five charter schools are expected to open this fall. The three brick-and-mortar schools are the Eastern Panhandle Preparatory Academy, Nitro Preparatory Academy and West Virginia Academy, which will serve the Morgantown area.

The two virtual charter schools will be statewide.


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