School Choice & Charters A National Roundup

Calif. Court Says Charters Deserve Parity in Facilities

July 26, 2005 1 min read

A California appeals court has unanimously ruled in favor of a charter school seeking “reasonably equivalent” facilities from a public school district.

In the June 29 decision, the state court of appeals in Fresno rejected what it called the “faulty premise” of the school system: that charter school students are not “district” students and therefore must yield first to the facility needs of students in district-run schools.

The 5,700-student Sierra Sands Unified School District had proposed placing the Ridgecrest Charter School’s 223 students in 9½ classrooms at five different school sites separated by a total of 65 miles. Finding that arrangement unacceptable, the charter school sued the district.

Under California law, the court said, facilities must be “shared fairly among all public school pupils, including those in charter schools.”

The school district did not respond to a request for comment.

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