Monday, October 5, 2009

CSI Wins Again!

The Colorado Supreme Court refused to hear the appeal from the Boulder Valley School District (BVSD) against the Charter School Institute (CSI). A lower court had already ruled in favor of CSI, but the law firm of Caplan and Ernest told BVSD they'd do the appeal to the state pro bono and so BVSD took them up on the offer.

The lawsuit alleged CSI was unconstitional as it impeded on the local district's "local control" provision of the state constitution. Because the CSI law, part 5 of the Charter Schools Act, allows a district to retain exclusive chartering authority if they meet certain criteria, the lower court determined it was up to the local district if they retained exclusive chartering authority and it wasn't a condition imposed by the state.

This final decision is huge for the 17 CSI charter schools who want to finance their facilities and have been in limbo until now. Financial institutions were hesitant to enter into an obligation if the CSI law were determined unconstitional. It was never clear what would have happened with the existing charter schools authorized by CSI if the lawsuit would have gone the other way.

Update: Here is a press release from CSI.

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