Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Catholic School Sues For More Adequate State Bus Transportation

On Friday, a pre-K through 8th grade Catholic school in Madison, Wisconsin announced that it has filed suit against the Madison, Wisconsin Metropolitan School District to obtain state-funded bus transportation that meets its current class starting time.  The complaint (full text) in St. Maria Goretti Congregation v. Madison Metropolitan School District, (WI Cir. Ct., filed 5/15/2020), alleges in part:
Chapter 121 of the Wisconsin Statutes requires school districts ... to provide and fund transportation services to both public and private-school students in their boundaries, with “reasonable uniformity” in the transportation offered.... [T]he District provides busing to its own students that drops them off reasonably before the start of their school day. Yet, despite its plain statutory obligations, the District has adamantly refused to provide similar busing for the upcoming 2020–21 term to the students of St. Maria Goretti School.... Instead, the District has repeatedly informed St. Maria Goretti that it would only provide and fund busing that drops off its students 70 minutes after its current start time. So, the District is forcing St. Maria Goretti to substantially change its start and end times to receive busing, devastating almost every aspect of the school, including its Catholic mission; or to accept manifestly inadequate services that drops off its students well after the beginning of the school day; or to pay for busing services itself, despite the substantial burdens this would impose. This unequal, unjust treatment violates Chapter 121.
The school also filed a 47-page brief (full text) in support of its motion for a temporary injunction or writ of mandamus.