Rural Trust Joins in Friend of the Court Brief in Missouri Lawsuit

Last Updated: May 05, 2009

This article appeared in the April 2009 Rural Policy Matters.
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The Rural Trust, along with Missouri School Boards Association, Education Justice at the Education Law Center and the National School Board Association have filed a friend of the court brief in the Missouri Supreme Court earlier this year. The brief supports the plaintiffs in Committee for Educational Equality v. State, the school finance lawsuit brought in 2004. In August 2007, the trial judge dismissed the plaintiff’s complaint, saying that the state had met its spending requirement of 25% and that there is no constitutional guarantee of funding adequacy or equity.
In the brief, the amici argue that the 25% spending clause is not the only requirement on the state as to educational provisions. Further, amici argue, the diffusion of knowledge and intelligence is clearly a duty of the state imposed by its constitution, and that state educational standards should be the measure of adequacy of funding of schools. In a detailed history of other state funding decisions, the brief points out that when state courts have considered the adequacy of their school systems, plaintiffs have always prevailed.
You can read the brief here:
Read more from the April 2009 Rural Policy Matters.