Judge: Montgomery's first charter school lacks enough votes

Judge: Montgomery's first charter school lacks enough votes
The Alabama Public Charter School Commission will appeal a judge's ruling that it didn't have enough votes to legally approve Montgomery's first charter school. (Source: WSFA 12 News)

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA/AP) - Montgomery's first charter school most likely won't open in 2018 after a judge ruled it didn't receive enough votes for its application.

The Alabama Education Association sued charter school LEAD Academy in February after the Alabama Public Charter School Commission approved the charter school in a 5 to 1 vote. The association claimed six votes were necessary to pass and LEAD Academy's application didn't meet the criteria.

Montgomery Circuit Judge J.R. Gaines ruled Tuesday in favor of the association.

Associate Director Theron Stokes said in an emailed statement the association will "fight all attempts to illegally divert public school dollars from Alabama classrooms to out-of-state, for-profit, charter school corporations."

LEAD Academy had already secured a location, recruited employees, and accepted applications.

The school's chairwoman Charlotte Meadows said she is very disappointed but isn't ready to give up on opening a charter school in Montgomery.

LEAD Academy's Board of Directors released a statement saying:

"We are extremely disappointed in the ruling that Judge Gaines handed down today. Once again, the arguments among adults have taken priority over the needs of the students in Montgomery. We continue to feel that our position is very strong and that this lawsuit is nothing more than a delay tactic by the Alabama Education Association (AEA) to prevent us from opening this fall.

Copyright 2018 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.