This Just In: Charter Schools are NOT Public Schools…
In two court rulings that will have an clear impact on union organizers, Governing Magazine reports that the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has ruled that charter schools are NOT public schools. As a result, charter schools’ employees must organize under the National Labor Relations Act, which applies to private-sector employees, rather than under state laws that apply to public-sector employees.
But the ruling also makes it clear that charter schools are NOT controlled by the State or under the control of any democratically elected group. In the ruling by the NLRB in New York State, Governing reports:
…the board found that even though state law describes charter schools as existing “within the public school system,” the schools were not directly established by a government entity and the people who administer them are not accountable to public officials or to voters.
So while the unions filed the lawsuit, their decision to fight for the right to organize in for-profit charter schools benefitted voters who never elected the board of directors of the contractors who operate the schools even though those same voters might have elected legislators who supported deregulated for-profit charter schools over “government” schools. Here’s hoping the general public becomes aware of the benefit the unions have given them in restoring democracy to the operation of their local schools.