Federal judge dismisses case against Sac City school closures

Published: Tuesday, Sep. 24, 2013 - 2:04 pm
Last Modified: Tuesday, Sep. 24, 2013 - 5:21 pm

A federal judge today dismissed a case brought by a dozen parents who sought to block the Sacramento City Unified School District from closing seven elementary campuses.

The order by U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller formalized agreements from both the school district and plaintiffs to end the legal dispute.

“We didn’t get our preliminary injunction,” Sacramento attorney Mark Merin said Tuesday. “While we could still proceed to try to prove that the closure decisions were motivated by intentional discrimination, it would have been after the fact.

“It wouldn’t achieve anything other than lambasting the whole decision process. There was very little upside for that.”

District Superintendent Jonathan Raymond, in a prepared statement, viewed the decision as a positive development.

“With dismissal of this lawsuit, SCUSD can focus its attention and precious resources on preparing every student at every school for college and 21st century careers, which is the district’s mission,” Raymond said.

Merin said the dismissal enables parents to work on improving schools that remain open and ensure effective transitions of their children into the new settings.

Parents filed suit in June, complaining that the district opted to close campuses in low-income and predominately minority neighborhoods and bypassed schools in predominately white, affluent city neighborhoods.

School officials countered that the closures were necessary to help balance the district’s budget, calculating millions of dollars in savings over several years by closing underutilized campuses.

Judge Mueller in July said that blocking the district was not warranted based on the evidence plaintiffs presented in court.

Read more articles by Loretta Kalb

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