Charter school bullies: Baker Mitchell takes critic to court

Telling the truth doesn't always set you free:

“Pruden has falsely stated to third parties that public charter schools assist in ‘dismantling’ North Carolina’s system of public education…and that public charter schools have ‘morphed into an entrepreneurial opportunity,’” according to the original suit.

Mitchell says Pruden intentionally caused his Local Education Agency Impact Statement–a document submitted to the state as part of the charter approval process–to be published by the media. In that statement, Pruden accused Mitchell’s “private companies” of profiting from taxpayer dollars in the amount of $16 million.

Formal communications between local government entities and state agencies *should* be made public, especially if they concern possible changes in the way public funds are spent. Make no mistake, this is merely a version of a SLAPP suit, the main purpose of which is to silence opposition voiced in the public sphere. Combine that with the likelihood Charter-supporting Republicans in the General Assembly will soon introduce Parent Trigger legislation or other more aggressive approaches to shifting educational resources from public to private entities, and the chilling effect of this lawsuit should increase for many reading this.