January 26, 2017

Pennsylvania public school tries to evade competition (again!)

By Wen Fa Attorney

Second verse, same as the first! We know that teachers’ unions have some serious lobbying power. And we know they use this power to insulate public schools from competition. Take Pennsylvania, where school districts have repeatedly used (and abused) their power to handicap successful charter schools.

Two years ago, PLF litigated in support of a successful charter school in Lehigh, Pennsylvania. The school district there resorted to archaic methods of statutory interpretation in attempting to prevent the charter school from opening up a second location. Of course, this prevented students on the waiting list from attending the charter school, and funneled them to public schools unfit for their needs. Fortunately the school district relented after PLF got involved. It allowed the charter school to enroll more students at its original location to the delight of students and their parents.

Last year, the public school establishment in the Keystone State was at it again. Once again, a successful charter school wanted to expand after amassing a substantial waiting list. Once again, the school district tried to stop the charter school from enrolling more students. And once again, PLF filed a brief in support of the right of parents to choose the school best fit for their child’s need.

Going forward, the script will be slightly different, but the sentiment will be the same. PLF will stand with parents and their child, no matter how much power the school district wields. School choice empowers parents, helps students, and benefits us all.

What to read next