Published Online: December 2, 2014
Published in Print: December 3, 2014, as S.C. High Court Rules for Poor, Rural Students

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S.C. High Court Rules for Poor, Rural Students

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A 21-year-old legal battle waged by more than two dozen districts that accused the state of South Carolina of failing to provide a "minimally adequate" education for poor and rural students has come to an end, after the state Supreme Court ruled in the districts' favor.

In its ruling last month, the court said the state's failure to address the "effects of pervasive poverty on students within the plaintiffs' school districts prevented those students from receiving the required opportunity."

But Chief Justice Jean Toal, who wrote the majority opinion, did not absolve the districts for their role in exacerbating funding inequities, saying that local spending priorities—for athletic facilities and other auxiliary services while students languished in "crumbling schools and toxic academic environments"—were also part of the problem.

Vol. 34, Issue 13, Page 4

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