Judge grants preliminary injunction blocking West Virginia charter schools

West Virginia

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – A judge in Kanawha County has granted a preliminary injunction to stop charter schools in West Virginia.

According to Fred Albert, the West Virginia chapter of the American Federation of Teachers president, the preliminary injunction is the result of a lawsuit filed by parents to block charter schools from happening without a vote from the public. The injunction was granted during a virtual hearing this morning in a Kanawha County Circuit Court.

The lawsuit, filed in October, claimed the law allowing charter schools to open without local voters’ approval is unconstitutional.

Last month, the West Virginia Professional Charter School Board approved three charter schools in the state. Officials said the three schools are to be located in Nitro, the Eastern Panhandle and near Morgantown and will open in fall 2022.  

The bill approving an expansion of charter schools and Education Savings Accounts passed the West Virginia state legislature earlier this year.

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey responded to the injunction with the following statement:

“The court’s granting the preliminary injunction is wrong because the charter school laws — like all laws passed by the State’s duly elected legislature — are presumed to be constitutional, and the ruling also violates the separation of powers since the defendants in this matter are not the ones who are taking the action to which the plaintiffs object,” Attorney General Morrisey said.
 
The defendants should have been the state’s charter school board. Furthermore, the plaintiffs have not shown that the absence of an injunction will cause them irreparable harm. Since we believe this decision was wrongly decided, we will explore any available avenues of relief at the West Virginia Supreme Court.”

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey

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