Felchle et al. v. Montana
On June 14, 2023, a group of ten individual and organizational plaintiffs filed suit to prevent the state from privatizing education in Montana.
Governor Greg Gianforte signed into law House Bill 562 on May 18, 2023. HB 562 creates what it euphemistically refers to as a “community choice” school system. Far from reflecting the needs of Montana communities or giving choices to stakeholders, HB 562 designs a separate and unequal system of state-subsidized private schools in direct conflict with the system of equal, free, and quality public education that the Montana Constitution guarantees. In fact, HB 562 violates the Montana Constitution in more than six distinct ways.
Plaintiffs concurrently filed a motion for a preliminary injunction, which asks the court to prevent HB 562 from being implemented while the litigation is pending.
Filings / Press
Alex Sakariassen, Montana teachers, parents and education advocates challenge constitutionality of charter school bill, Montana Free Press (June 14, 2023)
Seaborn Larson, Organizations, teachers sue to block charter school bill, Missoulian (June 14, 2023)
Meridith Depping, Group files lawsuit to stop house bill authorizing community choice schools, ABC FOX Montana (June 14, 2023)
Keila Szpaller, Montana coalition sues over House Bill 562, alleges at least six constitutional violations, Daily Montanan (June 14, 2023)
Alex Sakariassen, Legal challenge launched against charter school law, alleging violation of state Constitution, Montana Free Press (June 20, 2023)
Alex Sakariassen, Judge blocks portion of law allowing charter schools in Montana (Sep. 6, 2023)
Chris Woodward, Judge halts parts of Montana's new charter school law (Sep. 7, 2023)
Austin Amestoy, District court stalls lawmakers' plans for charter schools in Montana, Montana Public Radio (Sep. 20, 2023)