HATTIESBURG, MISS. – Charter schools in Mississippi are under fire. Recently, the Southern Poverty Law Center filed a lawsuit declaring the schools are unconstitutional. However, new Director of the Mississippi Justice Institute, Shadrack White says he plans to fight the suit.
“Sure, if we lose this lawsuit and the Southern Poverty Law Center wins... Charter schools in Mississippi will be declared unconstitutional and they will get shut down,” White explained. “Which means that kids in those schools have to go home. They have to go back to their original public schools, and those public schools were failing... There's a reason why they left them in the first place.”
White spoke at the Jones County Republican Women's meeting Wednesday to inform them about what could happen if he loses his case, and what would happen if he wins.
“If we win this suit, charter schools are going to be declared constitutional,” White said. “Those kids get to stay in the schools where they're thriving, and we think that is one of the most important things you can fight for.”
However, many people asked why do others see charter schools as unconstitutional.
“They're making these claims because they think that charter schools are not public schools, and they cipher money from away from regular public schools,” White explained.
Which he says is not the case.
“The truth of the matter is charter schools are public schools,” White said. “They are public schools because they have to take every person that shows up. They're public schools because those schools have to be free, and so they are serving some of the poorest neediest students in the entire state.”
White says, either way, the judge rules he expects the case to go to the Mississippi Supreme Court being that both sides are expected to appeal. In all, the women of the Jones County Republican Women say they believe these schools should stay.
“Either you have a failing school or a school that is not up to par, or you have a charter school... And I believe a parent should have that choice I’m glad they are available,” President of the Jones County Republican Women, Nancy Bell said.
The Hinds County Chancery Court Judge, Dewayne Thomas is expected to make his ruling soon, and more information will be provided as it becomes available.F