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Levy lawsuit against Spokane schools pushed until April

A lawsuit against Spokane Public Schools for using local property tax dollars to boost employee salaries has been put on hold until April.

The state superintendent of public instruction, Randy Dorn, filed the lawsuit in July out of frustration that the Legislature isn’t fully funding public schools. He said at the time he hoped to force action by filing the suit against seven school districts, including Spokane, which relies on the local levy for about 28 percent of its budget and funding for 350 positions.

“Basically if the court had ruled (against us) we couldn’t have used our levy dollars,” said district Superintendent Shelley Redinger. “It would be hard to operate.”

A judge ruled Monday in favor of the school district’s effort to push the case to next spring.

Redinger said she knows why he filed the lawsuit, but doesn’t think it would achieve what he hoped.

“It was kind of a legacy move,” she said.

Dorn is stepping down from his position as superintendent. Both challengers for his position, Erin Jones and Rep. Chris Reykdal, have said they will dismiss the lawsuits pending against the seven districts.