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Muda69

West Lafayette schools sue Indiana, call $1 charter law an unconstitutional ‘land grab’

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https://www.jconline.com/story/news/2019/09/12/west-lafayette-schools-sue-indiana-call-1-charter-law-unconstitutional-land-grab/2273698001/

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West Lafayette schools, defending against any effort to takeover the former Happy Hollow Elementary, filed a lawsuit Thursday, is challenging the constitutionality of a 2011 state law that says public school districts must lease unused classroom space to charter schools for $1.

Rocky Killion, West Lafayette Community School Corp. superintendent, said no charter schools or anyone else has approached the district about Happy Hollow, built at 1200 N. Salisbury St. in the 1950s, since the building closed as a school in 2019.

But Killion said the district didn’t plan to wait to save what he called a community asset in West Lafayette. 

“We believe that there is a constitutional right for taxpayers and for property owners that they own property that the state cannot come in and do a land grab without some due process,” Killion said.

“We think there’s a constitutional argument to be had here: The state can’t just go into your place and take your land or give it to a private company for a buck,” Killion said. “As the charter-privatization movement broadens in Indiana, the greater capacity this has for these private companies to come in and do this. If you think about it, public schools can’t do this. So, I think someone needs to stand up and say, ‘Is this constitutional? Should this be legal?’ I personally believe it is not.”

West Lafayette’s lawsuit, filed in Tippecanoe Circuit Court, names Gov. Eric Holcomb as the defendant. The 11-page filing asks the court to block the law as a violation of the Fifth Amendment by taking property without just compensation.

Alec Gray, a spokesman for the governor, said Holcomb’s office had not seen the lawsuit as of Thursday and had no immediate comment.

West Lafayette schools left Happy Hollow midway through the 2018-19 school year, moving to West Lafayette Intermediate School at Salisbury Street and Lindberg Road, when Burtsfield Elementary once stood.

The city of West Lafayette is paying $1.5 million to lease Happy Hollow as a temporary city hall, while the Morton Community Center is renovated into a new city hall. That lease lasts through the end of 2020.

...

Mr. Killon will do most anything to protect the government school hegemony, and his job. 

 

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“We believe that there is a constitutional right for taxpayers and for property owners that they own property that the state cannot come in and do a land grab without some due process,” Killion said.

yeah that quote just reeks of selfishness and self preservation.... 🤦‍♂️

Soooooo stupid. 

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12 minutes ago, Irishman said:

“We believe that there is a constitutional right for taxpayers and for property owners that they own property that the state cannot come in and do a land grab without some due process,” Killion said.

yeah that quote just reeks of selfishness and self preservation.... 🤦‍♂️

Soooooo stupid. 

Does the Charter school not accept taxpayer money in order to educate it's students, Irishman?  

Glad you agree with my assessment,  that it is to destroy Charter schools and preserve the government school hegemony,  aka remove school choice from the parents as much as possible.

 

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15 minutes ago, Irishman said:

“We believe that there is a constitutional right for taxpayers and for property owners that they own property that the state cannot come in and do a land grab without some due process,” Killion said.

yeah that quote just reeks of selfishness and self preservation.... 🤦‍♂️

Soooooo stupid. 

I ain't had no college learning or anything, but $1,500,000>$2

Seems like a better use of the facility for the next year and a quarter. While the local taxpayers are on the hook either way, WL Schools come out to the good. And they eliminate the opportunity for a for profit enterprise to shaft the local taxpayers by not paying a fair market lease. 

Edited by Impartial_Observer
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Just now, Impartial_Observer said:

I ain't had no college learning or anything, but $1,500,000>$2

Seems like a good better use of the facility for the next year and a quarter. While the local taxpayers are on the hook either way, WL Schools come out to the good. And they eliminate the opportunity for a for profit enterprise to shaft the local taxpayers by not paying a fair market lease. 

So all Charter schools are for-profit enterprises?  You sure about that?  And what exactly is "fair market" about a building paid for by public funds in the first place?

 

 

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Just now, Muda69 said:

So all Charter schools are for-profit enterprises?  You sure about that?  And what exactly is "fair market" about a building paid for by public funds in the first place?

 

 

I never said they were all for profit. But we both know there are for profit charters exploiting this stupid law.

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4 minutes ago, Impartial_Observer said:

I never said they were all for profit. But we both know there are for profit charters exploiting this stupid law.

I fail to see how this is exploitation by for-profit charter schools.  It was the lawmakers supposed mistake, not the for-profit charter schools.

Does the parent really care if a charter school is for-profit or not if it provides the quality education the parent seeks for his child?

Again, this is just a maneuver by Mr. Killion to reduce school choice within the geographical boundaries of the West Lafayette Government School Corporation.   It is clear from his past rhetoric the Mr. Killion hates charter schools and what they represent,  real parent choice of where their taxpayer funds go.

 

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8 minutes ago, Muda69 said:

I fail to see how this is exploitation by for-profit charter schools.  It was the lawmakers supposed mistake, not the for-profit charter schools.

Does the parent really care if a charter school is for-profit or not if it provides the quality education the parent seeks for his child?

Again, this is just a maneuver by Mr. Killion to reduce school choice within the geographical boundaries of the West Lafayette Government School Corporation.   It is clear from his past rhetoric the Mr. Killion hates charter schools and what they represent,  real parent choice of where their taxpayer funds go.

 

I said it was a stupid law. And you may have missed the part of the article where WL Schools have sued the state over it. In fact it was the title of the OP that YOU made. 

This is not a quality of education thread, put the goal line back where it was.

Reducing school choice, did you read the article?

Quote

Rocky Killion, West Lafayette Community School Corp. superintendent, said no charter schools or anyone else has approached the district about Happy Hollow, built at 1200 N. Salisbury St. in the 1950s, since the building closed as a school in 2019.

Mr. Killion and I'm assuming the school board are acting on behalf of the WL school taxpayers. I'm sure the school board is elected, so there is accountability to the locals. 

Edited by Impartial_Observer
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2 minutes ago, Impartial_Observer said:

I said it was a stupid law. And you may have missed the part of the article where WL Schools have sued the state over it. In fact it was the title of the OP that YOU made. 

This is not a quality of education thread, put the goal line back where it was.

Reducing school choice, did you read the article?

Mr. Killion and I'm assuming the school board are acting on behalf of the WL school taxpayers. I'm sure the school board is elected, so there is accountability to the locals. 

Yes, I did read the article.  Did you?

FTA:

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State Rep. Bob Behning, chairman of the House Education Committee, said he hadn’t seen West Lafayette’s court filing as of Thursday afternoon and wasn’t prepared to comment on whether it had merit.

But Behning said the new law was intended to help public school districts by tightening the time charter schools had to make a claim on a school that had closed.

The last thing we want them to do is to sit on an unused building and use valuable dollars that could be reallocated to teacher pay, for instance, and hold that building for two years to see if someone decides they want to lay claim,” Behning said.

Behning said the $1 law was put into place to keep publicly paid classrooms in play for public education, in this case public charter schools created under Indiana law as alternatives to traditional public schools.

Behning defended the concept of the law designed knowing that charter schools didn’t have the same funding mechanisms to build classrooms that traditional public school corporations have.

Figures on the number of times charter schools had used the $1 building law were immediately available Thursday, according to Adam Baker, an Indiana Department of Education spokesman. 

“The law was put into place to give public charters access to public buildings if they are going to locate in that community,” Behning said. “It is taking the building that was built in the interest of the community to serve students, and say ‘X’ school district says it doesn’t want to use it anymore, it’s made available to ‘Y’ public school that can use it for the purposes of educating children in that same community.”

Killion said the school district doesn’t have specific plans for Happy Hollow once the city moves back to Morton Community Center. During publish hearings ahead of renovation plans for other schools across West Lafayette, the school board discussed a possible kindergarten or pre-kindergarten at the vacant Happy Hollow site.

Killion said the school board hasn’t been interested in selling the property, in case it’s needed for future growth in enrollment.

So Mr. Killion would rather keep the public Happy Hollow building unused than allow a Charter school to use it, as allowed by current state law.    This, IMHO, is a blatant attempt to reduce school choice within the West Lafayette Government School Corporation geographical area.

 

 

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We had a couple of buildings in our district that sat vacant for 5 years  (a part of this stupid law). In that time, the property value dropped significantly before the district was allowed to just sell it. 

I have to admit that for someone who cries about the lack of local/community control on so many issues actually thinks it is now ok for the State to step in and dictate what the community MUST do as far as a building is concerned. Seems it does not quite fit within libertarian thinking. 

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2 minutes ago, Irishman said:

We had a couple of buildings in our district that sat vacant for 5 years  (a part of this stupid law). In that time, the property value dropped significantly before the district was allowed to just sell it. 

I have to admit that for someone who cries about the lack of local/community control on so many issues actually thinks it is now ok for the State to step in and dictate what the community MUST do as far as a building is concerned. Seems it does not quite fit within libertarian thinking. 

It does if may help help with your ultimate goal.  Just playing the long game, Irishman.  

So you approve of public education buildings sitting vacant and not allowing charter school to use them in an attempt to reduce school choice.  Got it.

 

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The last thing we want them to do is to sit on an unused building 

It's being used for the next 15 months and WLS is being compensated 1.5 million. I have no idea if that money can be used for teacher salaries or not.

publicly paid classrooms in play for public education, in this case public charter schools created under Indiana law as alternatives to traditional public schools.

There is no law that says a school can't rent their class space for $1 a year or whatever. In fact I have seen this happen in my local school district.

It is taking the building that was built in the interest of the community to serve students, and say ‘X’ school district says it doesn’t want to use it anymore, it’s made available to ‘Y’ public school that can use it for the purposes of educating children in that same community.”

I'm not sure how much more plainly it can be stated: NO ONE CONTACTED WLS about renting the building. No downtrodden kid is being forced into the government schools of WLS. 

Killion said the school district doesn’t have specific plans for Happy Hollow once the city moves back to Morton Community Center.

Perhaps a charter school will contact them? 

3 minutes ago, Muda69 said:

It does if may help help with your ultimate goal.  Just playing the long game, Irishman.  

So you approve of public education buildings sitting vacant and not allowing charter school to use them in an attempt to reduce school choice.  Got it.

 

NO ONE HAS SAID THAT!

 

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4 minutes ago, Muda69 said:

It does if may help help with your ultimate goal.  Just playing the long game, Irishman.  

So you approve of public education buildings sitting vacant and not allowing charter school to use them in an attempt to reduce school choice.  Got it.

 

Not allowing them and none asking are two COMPLETELY different things Muda. I used to think you would know better. Now I am not so sure. As IO this is NOT about school choice. The fact is, as he said, it is a stupid law. For someone that favors a “fair market”,  wouldn’t the market say, close and sell the building immediately and if a charter operator wants to use it, pay fair market value for it? 

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35 minutes ago, Impartial_Observer said:

I'm not sure how much more plainly it can be stated: NO ONE CONTACTED WLS about renting the building. No downtrodden kid is being forced into the government schools of WLS. 

 

And Mr. Killion wants to keep it that way, primarily to keep potential Charter schools out of the WL government school district.  Hence his desire to overturn the law. 

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Just now, Muda69 said:

And Mr. Killion wants to keep it that way, primarily to keep potential Charter schools out of the WL government school district.  Hence his desire to overturn the law. 

Yeah...ok. Interesting to know that a Superintendent can hold THAT much power in a community. 

Funny comment though. 

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33 minutes ago, Irishman said:

Not allowing them and none asking are two COMPLETELY different things Muda. I used to think you would know better. Now I am not so sure. As IO this is NOT about school choice. The fact is, as he said, it is a stupid law. For someone that favors a “fair market”,  wouldn’t the market say, close and sell the building immediately and if a charter operator wants to use it, pay fair market value for it? 

No. If the $1 gets the Charter schools "in the door" and parents see them as ultimately superior to  traditional government schools, then the traditional government schools will eventually wither away and die, then the charter schools will be shown up by the 100% private/parochial schools, then the ultimate goals of getting government out of the K-12 education business altogether can be achieved.

 

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1 minute ago, Irishman said:

Yeah...ok. Interesting to know that a Superintendent can hold THAT much power in a community. 

Funny comment though. 

So if you don't believe a long time,  well known, and powerful government school superintendent like Mr. Killion holds significant sway over whoever is sitting on the WL government school board then you are more naive concerning power and politics than I thought.

 

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2 minutes ago, Muda69 said:

No. If the $1 gets the Charter schools "in the door"

 

Socialism.  Take that crap to Venezuela.

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3 minutes ago, BARRYOSAMA said:

Socialism.  Take that crap to Venezuela.

Yep, your kind of place Night Hawk.

 

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5 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT CHARTER SCHOOL FACILITIES: https://www.publiccharters.org/latest-news/2018/09/18/5-things-know-about-charter-school-facilities

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Charter schools rarely have access to taxpayer-funded facilities, even when they’re vacant.

Taxpayers own public school buildings and they should be available to all public school students, but that’s not the reality. Unlike district schools, charter schools don’t have an inventory of buildings to choose from. And in many places – like Detroit, Indianapolis, and Minneapolis – districts refuse to allow charter schools to lease or purchase buildings even when they’re vacant. As a result, you can find charter schools operating in shopping malls, office buildings, repurposed factories, or co-located with other schools.

Charter schools on average spend about 10% of per-pupil funding on facility space.

While some charter schools access federal or state programs these initiatives have limited funding and reach. They don’t work for all charter schools. Moreover, many of these programs simply reduce the cost of borrowing money – schools still need to cover the debt which shifts much needed funds from the classroom and to the building.  

Charter school facilities often lack amenities like gymnasiums, libraries, or science labs.

Specialized instructional spaces, such as science labs, libraries, and computer labs, are an important part of a comprehensive educational program, but about 40 percent of charter schools do not have the right amenities or specialized classrooms to best implement their educational model.

Access to school buildings is one of the biggest obstacles to expanding charter school options.

Charter school leaders report that lack of access to adequate facilities is one of their primary concerns and one of the biggest barriers to growth. In fact, nearly one in five charter schools had to delay their opening date by a year or more due to facilities related issues. Even celebrities can’t avoid the facilities challenge. 

5 million parents want to send their child to a charter school, but don’t have the option.

Based on parent demand, estimates suggest that the potential number of charter school students is 8.5 million – almost three times larger than today’s actual enrollment. Thirty percent of parents surveyed would be interested in sending their child to a charter school, with 10 percent saying that a charter school would be their top choice. Of interested parents with charter schools in their community, over half cited access problems – such as the school is too far away or has a wait list – as the reason their children do not attend a charter school.

 

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Innovations in Education: Making Charter School Facilities More Affordable: State-driven Policy Approaches: https://www2.ed.gov/admins/comm/choice/charterfacilities/report_pg18.html

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...

Encouraging or requiring districts to offer some of their space to charter schools is one thing. Deciding whether and what a district can charge for that access is a related but separate policy issue that must be considered. Most of the district housing arrangements worked out for charter schools in Colorado have been relatively free of conflict, according to Griffin. Some charter schools, he says, have worked with a district to find creative ways around the letter of the law as it relates to the prohibition against districts charging rent. For instance, charter schools sometimes agree to pay "upkeep and maintenance fees" for district property. Griffin points to other instances in which a district has paid to build a facility intended to house a charter school and, because this new space is defined as not having been "available" prior to construction, some sort of payment has been negotiated with the charter school. He asserts that charter schools that have successfully negotiated such arrangements consider the costs reasonable.

The issue of cost for district facilities is handled differently in the other two jurisdictions profiled in this section, the District and California. In the District, lease agreements between charter schools and DCPS are individually negotiated. According to Stefan Huh, director of the Office of Public Charter School Financing and Support in the D.C. Office of the State Superintendent of Education, these arrangements are supposed to take into account some estimate of market value lease rates, while still offering charter schools a lease below market value.

In California, policy related to whether districts are permitted to charge charter schools for occupying district facilities is complex. Proposition 39 prohibits districts from charging rent to a charter school if the district property in question was purchased with taxpayer-backed bond funds earmarked for facilities. However, a facility fee may be computed according to a specified formula that calculates a charter school's share of any general discretionary funds that a district has to expend on a facility.74

Caprice Young, of the California Charter Schools Association, sheds light on a related practice that she says is common among the few districts that have agreed to house charter schools under Proposition 39: negotiating an agreement with a charter school that enables the district to charge the school fees similar to rent. Young suggests that charter schools are willing to pay such agreed-upon fees, first, because the district fees are usually less expensive than commercial lease rates would be and, second, because the schools have difficulty locating an appropriate facility for a school. Even so, she believes, imposing such charges are "fundamentally at odds with the main principle of Proposition 39—that charter students are public school students." As taxpayers, charter school parents already contribute to financial support for their district's school facilities and, for that reason, Young argues, charter school students have an equal right to use those public assets. To her, it is inequitable for districts to charge charter schools any more than what they would charge other district students to attend school in a district facility, which, she points out, is nothing.

 

Just now, BARRYOSAMA said:

I don't support the government hand out.

You are clearly supporting handouts.

Pinko...

In pursuit of the ultimate goal, yes.  

Go whine about it on your blog, socialist pig.

 

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2 minutes ago, Muda69 said:

In pursuit of the ultimate goal, yes.  

Go whine about it on your blog, socialist pig.

 

Go hang with your new friends, Bernie and AOC....progressive patty.

Hand out harry

Everything is free Freddie.

 

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1 minute ago, BARRYOSAMA said:

Go hang with your new friends, Bernie and AOC....progressive patty.

Hand out harry

Everything is free Freddie.

 

I will never vote for your socialist butt-buddies, Night Hawk.   You lust for them, not I.  

Now go back to your socialist nirvana of Venezuela and keep writing that supposed blog which only your mother reads, while she's sitting on the toilet of course.

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