Lawyers joust over property tax transfers to charter schools

Source: MGN

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - A group of parents are urging Mississippi's Supreme Court to overturn the state's charter school law, saying it unconstitutionally diverts local property tax money.

The appeal comes after a lower court judge ruled last year that such diversions are acceptable.

The state is urging justices to uphold the transfers. It says money benefits students living in the local district, even if a charter school isn't controlled by a traditional public school board.

The Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that lawmakers couldn't force the Pascagoula-Gautier school district to share property tax revenue with other Jackson County districts. The plaintiffs say that means it's illegal for local districts to send money to charter schools.

The state says the constitution doesn't forbid local property taxes from following a student to a charter school.