The U.S. Supreme Court declined without comment last week to review an appeal stemming from a Nebraska lawsuit that aimed to keep open about 200 small school districts that opposed being consolidated into neighboring districts.
Nebraska lawmakers in June 2005 overrode a veto by Republican Gov. Dave Heineman that requires the districts, which offer only elementary grades, to merge with nearby districts to make K-12 districts.
The law is scheduled to go into effect June 15.
Opponents of the law have collected enough signatures on a petition to put a proposed repeal on the November ballot, but fell short of the number needed—at least 10 percent of the state’s registered voters—to suspend the law.
The small schools claimed that because the law will effectively dissolve the districts before the November ballot, it effectively denies their constitutional rights to petition the government.
A version of this article appeared in the May 24, 2006 edition of Education Week