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When divorced parents with joint child custody disagree on how their child should be educated, a trial court must make a decision based on "the child's best interests," the Minnesota Court of Appeals has ruled.

The court reversed an earlier ruling in which a trial court sided with a man who contended that his child should be educated in a public school rather than at home, where his former wife planned to teach the child. The trial court agreed with the father's argument that the child would be better served by attending school outside the home.

But a three-judge panel of the state appeals court ruled unanimously this month that it is up to the trial court to choose the best school for the child.

Although a 1978 state law established the right of a parent with custody to determine the child's upbringing, including education, the panel said the statute was superseded by a 1981 law. The newer law requires the trial court to make a decision "in the child's best interests" when divorced parents with joint custody disagree on their children's education, health care, or religious training.

"Justice in the case cannot be achieved through any alternative presumption in favor of either joint custodian," the panel stated.

The Ohio Education Association provided sufficient financial information to meet constitutional requirements when it tried to collect fees from nonunion teachers two years ago, a federal appeals court has ruled.

Six teachers in two school districts sued the association in 1987, claiming that the union had violated their First Amendment rights by not disclosing adequate information before collecting a fee for representing them.

A lower court ruled in favor of the union in November 1988. Earlier this month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit concurred. It ruled that the local unions had met their obligation by providing the association's audited financial statement, a supplemental statement detailing expenses charged and not charged to nonmembers, a copy of its 1987-88 budget, and copies of the audited financial statement and supplemental schedule of the National Education Association, with which the oea is affiliated.

Vol. 09, Issue 08

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