Georgia Supreme Court rules Charter Schools Commission unconstitutional









Georgia Supreme Court rules Charter Schools Commission unconstitutional

On May 16, 2011, the Georgia Supreme Court issued its ruling on the lawsuit filed by seven Georgia school districts, including Gwinnett, regarding the constitutionality of the Georgia Charter Schools Commission Act. The majority opinion on the Supreme Court found in favor of the school districts and declared the Charter Schools Commission Act unconstitutional. Therefore, the commission is not authorized to create charter schools and direct local dollars to their operation.

In response to the ruling, CEO/Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks issued the following statement:

"We are pleased with the court's decision. While some tried to paint this lawsuit as an anti-charter school case, nothing could be further from the truth. At its heart, this was a constitutional question, one that has been answered once and for all. The Supreme Court has ruled correctly that the commission does not have the constitutional authority to establish schools and direct local dollars to the operation of those commission-approved schools. Again, the Gwinnett County Board of Education's participation in this lawsuit was not a stand against the creation of charter schools, but rather against the establishment of a state commission that sought to usurp the jurisdiction and resources of a duly elected local board of education."