Following are summaries of some significant litigation involving the Board, Department and Commissioner of Education in FY 2007 (July 1, 2006 – June 30, 2007).
Three school committees challenged the decision of the Board of Education in 2004 to grant a charter to the Advanced Math and Science Academy (AMSA) Charter School. In March 2007, the Supreme Judicial Court rejected all of the plaintiffs' legal claims. The court held that school committees lack standing to challenge the grant of Commonwealth charters and affirmed the broad discretion of the Board of Education under the charter school statute, Mass. Gen. Laws c. 71, § 89.
The Massachusetts Appeals Court upheld the 2005 decision of the Board of Education revoking the charter of the Roxbury Charter High Public School. The Appeals Court affirmed the Superior Court's judgment and determined that substantial evidence supported the Board's decision to revoke the school's charter. The court stated that "the question whether to revoke a school's charter is committed to the [B]oard's discretion by both statute and regulation." The charter school filed a petition for further appellate review, which the Supreme Judicial Court denied in July 2007.
The City of Springfield agreed to dismiss, without prejudice, the case it had filed in Superior Court in 2003 against the Board and Commissioner of Education and the State Treasurer relating to a claim for school transportation reimbursement. State and local officials worked cooperatively to resolve Springfield's financial crisis pursuant to Chapter 169 of the Acts of 2004, prompting the City to decide that it would not pursue the litigation.
Rhoda E. Schneider, General Counsel
Last Updated: September 12, 2007
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148-4906
Voice: (781) 338-3000
TTY: (800) 439-2370
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