June 25, 2009

PLF Welcomes Supreme Court's Ruling in AZ Schools Case (Horne v. Flores)

By Damien M. Schiff Senior Attorney

Today, in Horne v. Flores, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling on a challenge to intensive federal court supervision of Arizona public school policies and programs for English learning students.

By a 5-4 vote, the court reversed a Ninth Circuit ruling that found local school policies inadequate, and sent the case back to the district court for a revised look at whether the schools in Nogales provide equal opportunity to English language learners.

Pacific Legal Foundation submitted an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme court, in support of Arizona school officials and in opposition to the Ninth Circuit’s ruling. PLF Attorney Steven Geoffrey Gieseler issued this statement today:

"Today’s ruling is a victory for a vital principle: Federal courts should not be micromanaging local school policies. The decision is welcome because it will mean that state and local officials will regain the freedom to develop and oversee the policies that they find are best for the schoolchildren of Arizona, especially the state’s English-learning students. Federal courts do not have the knowledge, competence or authority, to supplant school boards and the state in that role, or to persistently pull rank on local educational officials. This ruling is a win for our federalist system of government, which limits the power and reach of national bureaucrats and the federal courts. It is also a win for our historic tradition of local control over education – and for Arizona’s schoolchildren, who are best served when decision-making is kept close to home."

Contact: PLF Attorney
Steven Geoffrey Gieseler (772) 781-7787  sgg@pacificlegal.org
   

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