Arrow-right Camera


School Districts’ Suit Over Budget Gaining Steam

Wed., Feb. 26, 1997

Stingy state budget proposals for education are reigniting interest in a 6-year-old lawsuit against the Idaho Legislature over thorough funding for public schools.

Idaho Schools for Equal Educational Opportunities formed in 1991 when it filed a lawsuit against the Legislature accusing lawmakers of not giving school districts enough money to provide a thorough education.

The suit contends local districts should not have to rely on override levies for basic funding. It also seeks state support for a school building and maintenance backlog that some officials say is approaching $1 billion.

The lawsuit went to the Idaho Supreme Court, which sent it back to 4th District Court.

Now Idaho Schools for Equal Educational Opportunities members are preparing for a November court date.

Moscow Superintendent Jack M. Hill is the group’s secretary. He said recent attempts by legislators to trim the public schools’ already bare-bones budget are fueling support for the suit.

Hill and Genesee Superintendent David Neumann, who is the Idaho Schools for Equal Educational Opportunities president, wrote a letter asking group members to each contribute $1,000 to the legal battle.

“This lawsuit is on the minds of our legislators,” the letter stated. “We need to keep the pressure on so that a reasonable legislative solution may surface this session. We would rather see our concerns addressed by the Legislature than be forced to play our hand in court.”


Click here to comment on this story »