State Files Formal Appeal In Education Case

Last Friday (9/23) the Office of the Attorney General officially filed its appeal from Judge Moukawsher’s ruling concerning the constitutional adequacy of public education in the state. (The appeal has been assigned docket no. SC 19768.)  Chief Justice Chase T. Rogers had previously granted the Attorney General’s petition for permission to appeal that ruling, but the filing of a formal appeal form was still required. The latest filing is thus merely an administrative event.  The next big administrative issue that I expect the parties and the Supreme Court will soon address is establishing a schedule for briefing and oral argument.  Given the nature of the case and the complex trial court record, I would not be surprised if the oral argument isn’t scheduled until late winter or early spring of 2017.

One Comment on “State Files Formal Appeal In Education Case”

  1. mnemonomania says:

    I’m still having a hard time wrapping my mind around the decision, which seems to boil down to this:

    “The state constitution requires a rational school system. The present system is irrational and therefore unconstitutional. Take a few months to come up with a rational system and I’ll order it implemented.”

    Ignoring the substance, the procedure is breathtaking. Has it any state or federal precedents?

    Is the decision a step toward court-imposed educational regionalization?

    I can see that happening if the ruling survives appeal: the plaintiffs and the state come up with competing plans, and the court says the state’s plan fails to clear the low bar of rationality, while the plaintiffs’ plan, whatever its flaws, is at least rational, so the court orders it into effect, with many protestations about how the General Assembly can change it ad infinitum as long as the result is rational.

    Meanwhile the new system, which includes revised financing, becomes the new status quo with instant political roots.

    Maybe a court-ordered educational system will be better than what we have. If we get one, I hope so.

    But the improvement will come at the cost of another failure of the political branches to do their minimal constitutional job.

    Who would have thought that when the man on a white horse came, he would be wearing a black robe?

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