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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Education Law
Satisfied Customers: 118633
Experience:  Attorney handling education matters.
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Our NC county school board is proposing a reassignment plan

Customer Question

Our NC county school board is proposing a reassignment plan that will take many kids within walking distance to their current school to a new school about 9 miles away through a busy highway during rush hour morning traffic in another town within the county. It is absurd and the local community is furious. Do we have any legal grounds to fight? Should we hire a lawyer and review every old case we can to be sure? We were told that NC State Law compels school boards to act in the best interest of the children.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Education Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

Unfortunately, while you can fight on the basis that this move is not in the best interests of the children, it is going to cost you money to hire an attorney to seek to take this to court and present proof that the interests of the children are in fact being harmed by this decision. There are reasons, not just they live within walking distance, that moving them further, such as their community and network of support, friends and associates are in the area closer to their home or that the school closer to them has a better academic performance. However, you parents would bear the burden of showing why the move is not in the best interests and if you cannot meet that burden, the school can move the children to another school.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you! I am trying to determine if a lawyer has a case. We can come up with an endless list of issues such as travel time, busy highways, less parental support at the school, etc. There is no question that the children are better off at the local school. There are other issues like property values affected, etc. If a judge truly rules on what is best for the children then we should win. My concern is that I don't know the law and the law may see things like commute time, parental support for the school, etc as irrelevant. It would be great if an old case would support ours. I assume a lawyer has to research that for us or can we do it?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for your reply.

The law also would look at the needs of the school board as well, such as staffing and space for students as part of their decision. So if the board sees that the local school does not have sufficient space or staff and the other school has space and staff they can rearrange students to adjust class size and better utilize staff, so those are arguments you have to be prepared to overcome as well. The lawyer would have to look into that and case law is not going to be much help because each of these issues is heavily dependent on the specific facts of each situation as to why the move is found to be necessary.