The State Board of Education has received a favorable ruling today in its lawsuit against the State’s Rules Review Commission.
The Board brought a lawsuit last year arguing that it was not constitutionally required to submit policies for Commission approval. Since the 1980s, the Board of Education, like many other state agencies, has been required to submit policies to the Commission. Today’s ruling means an end to that process for the Board.
“We are delighted with the Court’s decision,” says former State Supreme Court Justice Bob Orr, the attorney representing the Board. “We feel the constitution is clear on this issue.”
“We will wait to see if the state decides to appeal,” Orr added.
Ann McColl, an attorney and columnist for EdNC, writes:
In a brief order, Judge Paul Gessner rejected the Defendant State’s Motion to Dismiss and allowed the Plaintiff State Board of Education’s Motion for Summary Judgment. This ruling means that the State Board does not have to comply with legislation requiring its policies to be submitted to the Rules Review Commission. This agency could reject State Board policy or require its modification before it could be adopted as a rule. The State Board had complained that as a practical matter, this added months to their process for adopting policy and put an agency without education expertise with veto authority over the constitutional authority of the State Board. With this ruling, the State Board will exercise its constitutional authority and adopt policies through its own process that are binding. The trial court judge was not required to nor did he provide any findings or conclusions that would have illuminated what he found compelling in the Plaintiff’s brief. More background is available in the EdNC article More Arguments Over Power. The State can appeal the ruling.
Here is the order.
Here is EdNC’s litigation summary of this case.
Editor’s Note: Bob Orr is on EdNC’s Board of Directors.