State yanked from student fee lawsuit

From the Associated Press: A judge has removed the state from a lawsuit challenging student fees — and questioning whether the state’s school funding system passes constitutional muster.

Russell Joki, a former Nampa school superintendent, filed the suit against school districts last year. The lawsuit had also named the state, the Legislature, state schools superintendent Tom Luna and the State Department of Education as defendants, until District Judge Richard Greenwood sided with the state’s attorneys Wednesday.

Here’s a big-picture point from Todd Dvorak’s story: “In freeing the state from the case, the judge also dismissed the allegation that the state’s system for paying for public schools violates the Idaho Constitution. Joki argued that Idaho schools are still primarily funded through an unequalized property tax, creating a system in which students in poor districts get dramatically less funding than those in wealthier areas.”

While the state is off the hook, the case against the districts continues. Arguments in the case are scheduled for April 1.

 

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