Class action status awarded to Madison students lawsuit

U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb approved class action status and allowed at least 350 students (or more) to join a federal lawsuit filed last fall by a parent of one of those students on the basis of race.

The lawsuit which was filed in October, claimed that the student, who is white, suffered “considerable stress and dissatisfaction” at East during the 2006-07 school year and asked to transfer to the Waunakee or Monona Grove school districts under the state’s open enrollment law. Under that law, parents do not have to pay tuition to send their children to another district.

The Madison district turned down the student’s open enrollment request based on district policy and a 1997 state statute that called for rejecting transfers that “would increase the racial imbalance in the school district.” The student could transfer, but she would have to pay tuition as a nonresident.

The Madison district ended its racially based denials of transfer requests in February 2008, eight months after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a Seattle case that assigning students on the basis of race violated the equal protection clause of the Constitution.

However, Madison School’s attorney David Rohrer who is all set to file a motion for summary judgment, believes, that the case is having a viable defense and they will ask the court to dismiss the case before a trial.

Source: Wisconsin State Journal


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