Following news that the 2nd District Court of Appeals had reversed its earlier decision in the boundary dispute between Carroll ISD and Northwest ISD, Carroll school officials have announced they will file a motion for rehearing.
“The same appellate court ruled in Carroll’s favor the first time,” said Carroll spokeswoman Julie Thannum.”This latest reversal on the issue of jurisdiction by the same court of appeals certainly confuses the issue. We have yet to have a court hear the merits of the case, and because of that, Carroll plans to ask for a rehearing.”
Thannum said the court’s ruling and Carroll’s request for a rehearing means no changes for families who reside in the disputed territory but have chosen to attend Carroll ISD schools on transfer requests. In 2005, the Carroll School Board adopted a resolution allowing students in the disputed zone and their siblings to attend CISD schools through graduation. About 46 students living in the disputed area have chosen to attend CISD while officials await the outcome of a court case now more than seven years old.
CISD Trustees and Administrators heard from several anxious families after learning about the appellate court’s decision last week. Parents attended the regularly scheduled School Board meeting Monday to request their children be allowed to remain in CISD. Still others have emailed the district asking Trustees to honor the original resolution allowing their children to stay in Carroll schools.
“News of Carroll’s appeal should reassure these families that their children will indeed remain Dragons,” Thannum said.
The Tarrant/Denton County line has long been the boundary between the two school districts, but for 150 years that line could not be located on the ground. In 2004 the courts finally determined the physical location of the county line, and now CISD simply wants the courts to say that same line is also the school district boundary. At the time of the lawsuit, Carroll Trustees said they believe they owed it to their taxpayers to protect CISD interests by getting a legal decision on the boundary issue. Families living in the area have the choice to attend NWISD or CISD.
Carroll School Board members voted unanimously January 9 to join 80 other public school districts in supporting a lawsuit brought against the state of Texas by members of the Texas School Coalition. Represented by the law firm of Haynes & Boone, the districts plan to sue the state for failing to adequately fund public education while accountability standards and expectations have increased and because the current system relies on a state property tax formula that prevents local districts from having the control to generate money for enrichment.
The lawsuit is one of four different school finance cases in Texas, but Trustees say they feel it most closely supports Carroll ISD’s interests in the finance matter. Most of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit are Chapter 41 or Robin Hood districts. Carroll joins Plano, Frisco, Grapevine-Colleyville, Northwest, Highland Park and Richardson ISD locally. The district’s cost for the suit will be $1 per Weighted Average Daily Attendance per year (less than $8,000).
The Texas Constitution requires that the state provide efficient and adequate funding for public schools. It also says that school districts must have the ability to choose how they spend the money they bring in from property taxes. Legal experts anticipate the case making it all the way to the Texas Supreme Court. Some believe the four lawsuits will eventually be consolidated into one case against the state, according to attorney John Turner of Haynes & Boone.