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GEORGIA

Consortium for Adequate Sch. Funding in Georgia v. State of Georgia, Civil Action File No. 2004-CV-91004, (Superior Court of Fulton, September 14, 2004).

A coalition of 51 rural school districts has filed a lawsuit against Georgia seeking adequate school funding under the Georgia Constitution. The education article of the Georgia State Constitution makes adequate public education an obligation of the State. The charge is that the state is not providing enough funding for Georgia’s schools. More information is available at http://www.casfg.org/litigation/.

 

McDaniel v. Thomas, 248 Ga. 632, 285 S.E.2d 156 (Ga. 1981).

The Georgia Supreme Court reversed the trial court decision in favor of plaintiffs on their claim that the state’s school funding system violated the equal protection clause of the state constitution, ruling that the reasons for disparities in the state’s public school finance system satisfied the "rational relationship" test. The Court stated, however, that its ruling should not be interpreted as “an endorsement of the status quo.” It further stated, “[p]laintiffs have shown that serious disparities in educational opportunities exist in Georgia and that legislation currently in effect will not eliminate them. . . . “It is clear that a great deal more can be done and needs to be done to equalize educational opportunities in this state.” 248 Ga. at 648, 285 S.E.2d at 168. In addition to ruling against plaintiffs on their equal protection claim, the Court declined to inquire whether students in the state received an “adequate education,” stating that that determination should be left to the legislature.