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
The court denied defendents' motion to dismiss.