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Ore. Public Schools Are Underfunded, Court Says

(CN) - Public schools in Oregon are not meeting the educational goals established by law, the Oregon Supreme Court ruled, adding that the applicable law does not allow for relief through the judiciary.

Pendleton School District teamed with 17 other districts and seven students to sue the state for failing to appropriate the funds to allow schools to reach educational goals. Those goals were established by Ballot Measure 1, which Oregon voters passed in 2000.

The trial court and appellate court both ruled in favor of the state, but the state high court determined that the schools are underfunded.

"However, Oregon voters did not intend to achieve the level of funding required in that constitutional provision by judicial enforcement," Justice De Muniz wrote.

"Requiring the Legislature to explain its failure to meet the constitutional directive," De Muniz added, "negates plaintiff's claim that the duty to fund the public school system at a certain level is enforceable by the injunction that plaintiffs seek."

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