New York Post

Charters in the Crosshairs


Afederal court just handed the Biden administra­tion — and everyone else who stands in the way of fixing our broken public-education system — a brand new weapon. The 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled North Carolina’s Charter Day School’s skirt requiremen­t for female students unconstitu­tional, because as a “state actor,” the school can’t have gender-based dress codes as they allegedly violate equalprote­ction laws.

This decision goes far beyond dress codes. Whether the 4th Circuit was motivated by politics we don’t know. But there’s no doubt those applauding the ruling are doing so for nakedly partisan reasons.

Why? That “state actor” finding is key. If the ruling stands, it could mean, in effect, the end of charters as they exist. It provides a legal rationale for them to be brought under the thumb of state and city educrats nationwide who are eager to handcuff charters for daring to bring educationa­l options to students failed by traditiona­l public schools.

Just look at the amicus filings in the North Carolina case. They comprise a rogue’s gallery of Big Ed lackeys, including (among many others) AFSCME, the ACLU and — of course — the American Federation of Teachers.

None of these organizati­ons is concerned with what’s best for students. They want traditiona­l public schools to keep their strangleho­ld over American education, despite the fact that year after year those schools deliver ever-worse results for poorer black and Hispanic students (even as they try to shut down or dilute programs aimed at academical­ly gifted kids, which hurt Asian students disproport­ionately).

That ugly trend was supercharg­ed by the inexcusabl­e push to close schools during the pandemic, a charge spearheade­d by the AFT and its cronies that led to devastatin­g learning losses.

And 2022 has already been a grim year for charters. Biden’s Department of Education joyfully took up its regulatory cudgel against charter schools, releasing a set of guidelines in March that would push them into involuntar­y alignments with traditiona­l public schools and tie them to meaningles­s metrics on “community impact.”

This decision comports neatly with that aim. It’s possible that the operator of the schools will challenge the ruling in the Supreme Court. We wish them all luck.

Charters are an essential element in the battle to save our schools, and the long-simmering hostility toward them needs to be checked.

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