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Judge Declares School Districts Lack Authority to Finance School Funding Litigation

Judge Declares School Districts Lack Authority to Finance School Funding Litigation

PIERRE, S.D.-   On August 20th, 2008, Hughes County Circuit Court Judge Lori Wilbur held that  individual school districts lack standing to sue the state of South Dakota seeking a declaration that the state’s system of funding public education is unconstitutional.   The court also held that school districts may not use taxpayer dollars to finance such a lawsuit.  

The court’s written decision was entered in Brad Olson, et al. vs. Guindon, et al., Hughes Co., Civ. 07‑209.  Board members of several school districts brought a declaratory judgment action against the Governor, Attorney General and State Auditor General seeking a declaration that the school districts’ financing of the school funding litigation was legal.  The South Dakota Coalition of Schools intervened on the side of the school board members.

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