PROVIDENCE – A Superior Court judge this month dismissed a lawsuit from the Pawtucket and Woonsocket school departments challenging the state’s new education-funding formula, upholding the constitutionality of the formula.
The Valley Breeze reported that Judge Netti C. Vogel concluded that the funding formula is the responsibility of the General Assembly, not the courts. The newspaper reported that Vogel wrote the court would only interfere with the General Assembly “when the legislation at issue could palpably and unmistakably be characterized as an excess of legislative power.”
The five-count claim listed as defendants Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee, Senate President M. Teresa Paiva-Weed, House Speaker Gordon Fox, General Treasurer Gina Raimondo and the entire General Assembly. The school departments argued that the legislature fell short in its constitutional duty to promote public schools, as governed by the Rhode Island Constitution’s Education Clause.
Officials from Pawtucket and Woonsocket schools had also claimed that the 2010 funding formula was inadequate to meet the needs of children in those two districts, the newspaper reported. •