Judge Releases Order in Omaha Public Schools Lawsuit

May 19, 2004

Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning called the order issued this week by District Court Judge Patricia Lamberty in the Omaha Public Schools Lawsuit a very positive milestone for the school funding lawsuit.

The court’s order issued this week dismissed two of plaintiffs’ claims involving provisions in the Nebraska Constitution dealing with adequacy of funding for K-12 education. The court allowed the plaintiffs to proceed with five claims related to equal protection.

Judge Lambert ruled that it is up to the Legislature, not the Judiciary, to determine what constitutes an “adequate education”. The Court also dismissed the plaintiffs’ claims for attorney fees. In total, almost $1 million has been spent litigating the issue. The state has spent about one quarter of that amount, or $262,000.

“Judge Lamberty’s opinion was well-reasoned and she produced a careful, well-researched analysis,” said Bruning. “Her conclusion that the Legislature, not a single judge, should decide what constitutes an adequate education is an important step in the litigation process.”

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