Recent Decisions-Supreme Court Decisions

Journal of Law and Education, July 2007 | Go to article overview

Recent Decisions-Supreme Court Decisions


Final Decision

DOCKET NO.: 05-1508

NAME: Zuni Public School District No. 89 v. Department of Education

DATE: April 17th, 2007

School district sued the Department of Education claiming that the regulations passed for calculating aid under the Federal Impact Aid Program -were inconsistent with the authorizing statute. Under the statute, states may not reduce local expenditures to offset the amount received from the federal government. An exception to this rule is allowed in cases where the Secretary finds that allowing the State to reduce expenditures in select school districts furthers the goal of equalizing expenditures among all local school districts. The formula, under the regulation, says that the Secretary must disregard school districts with per-pupil expenditures above the 95th percentile or below the 5th percentile. The school district did not claim that the Secretary's calculations were incorrect, only that the regulations that provide this formula were inconsistent with the authorizing statute. Held: The Supreme Court held that the regulations were consistent with the authorizing statute. The Supreme Court held that the regulations provided a reasonable method for the Secretary to carry out the likely intent of Congress in creating the aid program. Furthermore the Court found that the method employed by the Secretary to calculate whether a State's program equalized expenditures amongst local school districts fell within the scope of the statute's plain language. Zuni Public School District No. 89 v. Department of Education, 127 S.Ct. 1534 (2007)

Review Denied

Decisions without published opinions in the lower court:

DOCKET NO.: 06-780

NAME: Davis v. George Mason University

DATE: Feb. 20th, 2007

CITATION: cert. denied, 127 S.Ct. 1326 (2007)

DOCKET NO.: 06-799

NAME: D.T. v. Bridgewater-Raritan Regional Board of Education

DATE: Mar. 19th, 2007

CITATION: cert. denied, 127 S.Ct. 1830 (2007)

DOCKET NO.: 06-1114

NAME: Nwadiogbu v. Dep't of Education

DATE: Apr. 2nd, 2007

CITATION: cert. denied, 127 S.Ct. 1919 (2007)

DOCKET NO.: 06-1174

NAME: Horwitz v. Illinois State Board of Education

DATE: Apr. 30th, 2007

CITATION: cert. denied, 75 U.S.L.W. 3582 (2007)

Decisions with published opinions in the lower court:

DOCKET NO.: 06-271

NAME: Skoros v. New York City

DATE: Feb. 20th, 2007

CITATION: 127 S.Ct. 1245 (2007)

Parent brought suit challenging the city's policy on holiday displays at public schools. The plaintiff claimed that the policy, which did not allow for the display of a crèche or nativity scene, violated her and her children's rights under the Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses of the First Amendment. The same policy allowed for the display of a menorah and the star and crescent, as well as a Christmas tree. The stated goal of the policy was to allow secular holiday symbols, and ban displays that promoted or celebrated any single religion or holiday. …

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