WVa judge temporarily blocks charter schools’ implementation

December 20, 2021 GMT

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A judge on Monday temporarily blocked public charter schools from being implemented in West Virginia.

Kanawha County Circuit Judge Jennifer Bailey granted a preliminary injunction sought by parents in a lawsuit filed against Gov. Jim Justice and leaders of the House of Delegates and state Senate, news outlets reported.

The plaintiffs claim residents should be able to weigh in on any charter school established in their county. They are challenging the authority of the Professional Charter Schools Board, whose members are appointed by the governor.

The board last month approved charter schools in Morgantown, Nitro and Jefferson County, along with two online charter schools.

Bailey said the board’s authority to approve new charter schools without input from county voters “is contrary to the constitution of this state, and the petitioners have a right to seek redress of legislation that is contrary to the constitution.” She said the ruling was not about whether lawmakers had the authority to enact legislation allowing for charter schools.

Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said he plans to appeal the ruling to the state Supreme Court.