I’ve heard about many states where school districts have sued their state over school finance formulas and the like. I had never heard of school districts suing their state supreme court, until now.
The Idaho Statesman reports today that U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill of Boise has allowed a lawsuit filed by school districts against their state’s highest court to proceed to trial. The districts sued the state high court after it ruled in 2005 that Idaho’s school finance system was unconstitutional, but then allegedly refused to require the state to come up with a remedy.
The federal judge rejected arguments on behalf of the Idaho Supreme Court that he lacked jurisdiction to order a state high court to do anything. But, the newspaper reports, the judge appeared to be trying to nudge the state court to avoid a trial by saying that a clarifying order “may be all that is needed to facilitate a quick and inexpensive resolution of this case.”
Unfortunately, I cannot find Judge Winmill’s opinion online.
Education Week has reported frequently on the long-running school finance lawsuit in Idaho, including this story from 2006.
A version of this news article first appeared in The School Law Blog.