Tuesday, March 03, 2009

School Closure Appeals Filed with the Court

According the the Seattle P-I (how we will miss their coverage of local education issues - much better and less biased than the Times) at least four groups claim to have filed appeals of the school closure decision with the King County Superior Court.

According to the P-I article, the appeals are based on claims of discrimination. It's not possible to describe the grounds for the appeals without reading the appeals filed with the Court (not yet available online). That's a shame because I don't think that the discrimination claim has merit.

We will follow the appeals with interest and keep you updated.

12 comments:

TechyMom said...

Can we start a thread on the design team initial requirements reports that were posted last night?

Lara said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lara said...

I don't know about all of them, but one of the four focuses on procedural errors including lack of hearings for schools that were voted to be closed. It was just left out of the article.

Charlie Mas said...

Lara, how do you know this?

Sahila said...

Charlie - Lara and I know about this because we were one of the 8 signatories to the fourth suit...

Charlie Mas said...

The Times also has a story.

Charlie Mas said...

Lara and Sahila,

Well done!! Good for you!

A number of schools were closed without the legally required public hearings. The district will try to say that the schools were not closed, but we will not see school report cards for them in future years, we will not see Continuous School Improvement Plans for them in future years, and the NCLB status for them will disappear as well.

The District either acknowledges that the AAA is a closed school or they put Van Asselt into Step 5 of sanctions under No Child Left Behind, have it use the AAA's historical data for its school report card, and have it use the AAA's historical data for its CSIP. That ain't gonna happen, so the AAA is undeniably closed and it was undeniably a school so they undeniably closed it. And they did it without the required public hearing.

Make them acknowledge their feeble attempt to dodge their responsibility, make them conduct the hearing, and make them repeat the vote to close the schools.

Sahila said...

Charlie - thanks for the enthusiasm.... however, we are only two of seven or eight, and Chris Jackins deserves huge recognition for working on this angle and for co-ordinating matters between us few women scattered around the city, representing the interests of several groups...

Anyway... we now are looking for pro bono legal representation - I have some referrals I'm chasing up as are the others and if necessary, we'll go Pro Se...

I have a lot of successful experience doing that in another area of my life here in the US - sad and ironic to say, that has prepared me well for this, in terms of doing research, finding the appropriate regulations and precedent, writing and formatting court documents, meeting court process requirements and arguing successfully against opposing counsel! Having done a couple of years of a law degree (albeit in another country) a long time ago helps a little also...

I was served with a notice of appearance today by the District (not wasting any time) and if this goes the whole distance, there's a trial in September...

Have to say, I saved a lot of your earlier writings about law suits and will use some of that material where its applicable, if that's OK with you....

Namaste
Sahila

Lara said...

I have always been one to quietly grumble about people wasting money on court fees and legal proceedings. But here I am, doing this. Why?

Because from where I sit, it seems plain as day that the district did not follow the law. I can't turn the other cheek. Even if the outcome will remain the same in the end. I can't do anything about the district being a jerk, but the law is there for a reason, and it needs to be upheld. I understand people feeling it's a waste of time and money. I get it. But unfortunately there is no other way to keep them in check. Given the district's history, if they're permitted to get away with this scott free, then what will they try to do next? They need to be careful and diligent. They are not above the law.

dan dempsey said...

Good Job Sahila and Lara,

Thanks so much for your attempt to hold the district accountable.

Even if it turns out to be stand-up and be steamrollered .. you stood up. Bravo!!!!

Hope you achieve a great outcome.

My lawsuit against SBE and OPSI has its hearing on March 27.

It would be nice if these agencies and the SPS realize they must follow the law. Not just figure ways to run around laws.

Charlie Mas said...

Here is the blog posting about how to appeal a Board decision.

Anyone is free to use anything I post here. That's the idea.

Charlie Mas said...

The Times Op-Ed board has chimed in and they, predictably, think the challenges are without merit.