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Sunday, January 06, 2013

Ind. Courts - Two significant trial court school rulings in December

The NWI Times had this Dec. 31st story by Carmen McCollum that began:

The Indiana Department of Education intends to appeal a recent Marion County court ruling that calls into question student counting procedures.

Marion County Superior Court Judge Patrick McCarty ruled against the Indiana State Board of Education in early December. The judge said the state improperly counted about 1,500 Indianapolis Public Schools students as registered at four schools that were taken over by the state, even though those students had transferred to other IPS schools before the current school year began.

The Indianapolis Star reported then that the ruling means more than $6 million in student funding transferred from IPS to the schools' private operators should not have been taken away. * * *

IDOE spokeswoman Stephanie Sample said Monday that while nothing is happening right now, the state intends to file an appeal. She said the judgment applies to the section of law governing the entire state, meaning "it applies beyond just IPS."

Updating this Dec. 19th ILB entry headed "Judge OKs sale of 2 vacant public schools," a FWJG editorial dated Dec. 26th and headed "A sensible ruling for public schools," began:
Allen Superior Court Judge Nancy Boyer restored some common sense to the state’s misguided and conflicting policy affecting how traditional public school districts treat closed school buildings. The policy had conflicted with other state laws, was bad for taxpayers and – in at least one case involving East Allen County Schools – had the opposite effect of its goal of broadening school choice for parents.

Boyer ruled that state law does not prevent EACS from selling its vacant Monroeville Elementary School to the area Catholic diocese for use as a parochial school. The district sought clarity from the court after the Indiana Public Charter Schools Association sued Fort Wayne Community Schools to block its sale of the shuttered Pleasant Center Elementary School to the airport authority, owner of nearby Fort Wayne International Airport.

Both lawsuits centered on a 2011 law that requires traditional public school corporations to sell or lease any unused building to a charter school for $1. The law appears to require – and the charter schools group argued – that public school corporations must wait four years to dispose of any building, in case a charter school wants it.

Earlier, on Nov. 23rd, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in the case of Teresa Meredith et al. v. Mitch Daniels, et al, the school voucher challenge.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on January 6, 2013 12:55 PM
Posted to Indiana Courts