Articles Posted in Education Law

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Plaintiff’s car was struck by a school activity bus transporting students and school staff to an extracurricular event. Plaintiff brought this action before the North Carolina Industrial Commission pursuant to the Tort Claims Act to recover for alleged negligence by Randall Long, the bus driver and an employee of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education. The Commission granted the Board’s motion for summary judgment, concluding that the Commission lacked subject matter jurisdiction over Plaintiff’s claim because the claim did not fall within the parameters of N.C. Gen. Stat. 143-300.1, which confers jurisdiction upon the Commission to hear claims for the negligent operation of “school buses” and “school transportation service vehicles” when certain criteria are met. The court of appeals reversed. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that school activity buses are plainly excluded from section 143-300.1, and therefore, the Commission did not have jurisdiction in this case. View "Irving v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Bd. of Educ." on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs, twenty-five taxpayers, filed a complaint challenging the Opportunity Scholarship Program, which allows a small number of students in lower-income families to receive scholarships from the State to attend private school. The trial court declared the Opportunity Scholarship Program legislation unconstitutional on its face and permanently enjoined further implementation and enforcement of the legislation, including the disbursement of public funds. The Supreme Court reversed the trial court’s order and final judgment and dissolved the injunction, holding that no prohibition in the Constitution or in precedent foreclosed the General Assembly’s enactment of the challenged legislation in this case. View "Hart v. State" on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs sought a judicial determination that the 2011 legislative changes made to North Carolina's pre-kindergarten program failed to comply with the state's constitutional obligations recognized in Leandro v. State and Hoke County Board of Education v. State. After a hearing, the trial court found that some of the changes violated the State Constitution and mandating that the State not deny any eligible at-risk four-year-old admission to the North Carolina pre-kindergarten program. While the State's appeal was pending, the General Assembly amended the challenged statutory provisions. The court of appeals subsequently affirmed the trial court in part and dismissed the appeal in part. The Supreme Court dismissed the State's appeal as moot because the 2012 amendments constituted material and substantial changes to the provisions that the trial court found unconstitutional, and thus the questions originally in controversy between the parties were no longer at issue. View "Hoke Cnty. Bd. of Educ. v State" on Justia Law