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.