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Iowa Suit Seeks Equitable and Adequate School Funding

In one of only seven states where the courts have not yet decided a case challenging the state's education finance system, Iowa plaintiffs filed such a case, Coalition for a Common Cents Solution v. State. In April 2002, a coalition of 160 school districts and individual plaintiffs brought suit in state district court, alleging that the current finance system violates the Iowa constitution's education clause because it creates significant disparities in educational resources and does not provide sufficient resources for many districts to be able to offer an adequate education to their students.

Plaintiffs challenge a 1998 infrastructure funding statute, which they describe as shortchanging school districts in "non-retail-rich" counties and preventing them from generating sufficient funds to provide safe, healthy learning environments. Plaintiffs' Petition to the court also explains how aging and declining infrastructure impacts student attendance and teacher retention, prevents installation of new technology, and causes overcrowding and cancellation of numerous school days due to excessive heat.

The court denied defendents' motion to dismiss.

Revised December 5, 2002