Thursday, March 30, 2017

Illinois Moves To Dismiss Chicago Board of Education's Funding Lawsuit Under State Civil Rights Law - Education Law Prof Blog

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Illinois Moves To Dismiss Chicago Board of Education's Funding Lawsuit Under State Civil Rights Law

The State of Illinois responded last week to the Chicago Board of Education's funding lawsuit, asking the state court to dismiss the Board's claims that the state's education budget maintains a "separate and unequal" system for funding school districts and pension obligations. In its dismissal motion, the State argued that the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) will not suffer irreparable injury from its budget shortfall after Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed a bill that would have sent $215 million to CPS to cover its pension obligations that will come due this summer. The Governor reportedly rejected the bill because it did not include pension reforms that the Governor wanted. The State further argued in its dismissal motion that the state's civil rights law creates no grounds either to force the governor to sign a funding bill or to provide money that is not previously established by law. The lawsuit was filed by the Board in February on behalf of five African-American and Hispanic families (whose children attended CPS schools), alleging that the Illinois's failure to allocate money equitably to meet CPS's budget violated the state civil rights of minority children in its district (about 90% of CPS' students are minority).The state’s civil rights law provides that “if the burdens of a state policy fall disproportionately on members of particular racial groups, the state must advance a weighty justification.” As grounds, the Board alleged that the legislature allocated about 15% of the state education budget to Chicago, but the city enrolled nearly 20% of Illinois' schoolchildren in 2016. The Board's suit also challenged the state has created an unequal teacher pension system that requires Chicago to spend much Education Law Prof Blog:

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