Monday, July 2, 2007

Schools' legal fight could get more costly

Posted at the Seattle P-I.

When you keep hearing that the problems with the government school system are primarily due to lack of funding, and the districts continually beg for school levies to "help the children", you have to wonder how all of that money is being spent.

Well, disregarding severance packages for fired superintendents and misappropriated overtime pay for some school teachers, Seattle public schools also have some expensive legal bills to pay to their lawyers, and possibly to the lawyers of those who sued them.

Seattle Public Schools, already stung from losing its long-running legal fight over voluntary desegregation measures, now faces a new trial: paying the seven-figure legal fees of the parents who sued the district.

Just one day after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the district cannot use a racial tiebreaker in determining school assignments, the parents' "pro bono" attorney indicated he will try to recover legal costs he estimates will be seven figures.

"This stuff is expensive," attorney Harry Korrell, a partner at the Seattle law firm of Davis Wright Tremaine, said Friday. "There's no way to fight in federal court ... without racking up quite a legal bill."

So maybe the money is for the children, after the executives, crooks, and lawyers get their cuts.

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