High Court Reverses Aid Ruling

By Tom Mirga — February 12, 1986 1 min read

The U.S. Supreme Court last month overturned a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit that 54 California school districts had contended would collectively cost them millions of dollars in federal impact aid.

But because of a technicality, the districts will have to reargue their case before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit here.

The lawsuit, Chula Vista City School District v. Bennett (No. 85- 833), centers on the Education Department’s 30-year-old "$50 rule” governing its impact-aid program, which provides funds to districts that enroll students whose parents either live on or work at federal installations such as military bases. Under the rule, the U.S. Education Department places a $50 limit on the amount of impact aid per child.

For a brief period in 1979, the department intended to calculate the districts’ impact-aid awards on the basis of “an experimental grid,” but decided later to switch back to the $50 rule. The districts argued that the switch back to the old method cost them a total of $12 million. A federal district court agreed, but the Ninth Circuit Court overturned the decision last August.

Teacher’s Firing Upheld

Also last month, the Court let stand a federal appeals court’s decision upholding a teacher’s dismissal by a Beaumont, Tex., school district.

The appeals court said the district did not violate the teacher’s First and 14th Amendment rights when it fired her after she filed a grievance over her principal’s evaluation of her work. The case was Day v. South Park Independent School District (No. 85-825).

A version of this article appeared in the February 12, 1986 edition of Education Week