ELPO files Amicus brief in education case

by Mandy Hicks

ELPO recently filed an Amicus brief in an important education case that could set a precedent for all of Kentucky.
The brief was filed in the Kentucky Supreme Court in the case of Jefferson County Board of Education (et al) versus Chris Fell, as father and next friend of L.F. (et al). It is an appeal of an earlier decision by the Kentucky Court of Appeals that ruled that public school students were entitled to attend the school nearest their home. That decision could have a big impact on local schools, as sometimes the school nearest a student’s home isn’t the same school district to which the student is assigned to attend due to other factors such as overcrowding or under utilization of existing facilities, the programs offered at the school, etc.
ELPO’s Amicus brief argues that students should be assigned schools based on plans created by school districts that take such things as transportation routes, school capacity and other important considerations into account. ELPO filed the brief on behalf of the Central Kentucky Educational Cooperative, Green River Regional Educational Cooperative, Kentucky Educational Development Corp., Kentucky Valley Educational Cooperative, Ohio Valley Educational Cooperative, Southeast/South Central Educational Cooperative and West Kentucky Educational Cooperative.
“…the majority of school districts in Kentucky have more than one school serving the same grade levels,” the brief reads. “Thus, most local boards of education must assign students enrolled in the district to a particular school in the district…The designation of attendance boundaries necessarily takes into consideration the resources available at each facility, including the physical space, as there are a finite number of seats and services available within each school building.”
An Amicus Brief is sometimes filed in court cases by parties that are not directly involved in a case but who believe the outcome could affect them or their constituents. The judge in the case has to approve the submission of the brief.
The case is set for oral arguments on April 18.
The brief was written by Samantha Propp and Michael Owsley.
Read the full brief here: amicus brief JCPS