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D-303, ISBE at odds over agency’s place in lawsuit

Published: Wednesday, May 22, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

GENEVA – St. Charles School District 303 is trying to get the Illinois State Board of Education brought on as a third-party defendant in the lawsuit over the reconfiguration of two elementary schools.

But attorneys for the ISBE and the plaintiffs – a group of parents – argued Tuesday in Judge David Akemann’s courtroom that the ISBE has no place in the case.

Filed in 2011, the lawsuit alleges District 303 acted illegally in reorganizing Davis and Richmond elementary schools, as well as other wrongdoings.

An appellate court narrowed the debate to whether the restructuring qualified as a school improvement plan under the Illinois School Code.

Rob Swain, an attorney for the district, said the allegations involve matters the ISBE is in charge of.

If the judge agrees with the plaintiffs and orders the district to undo the changes, the ISBE would have to be involved in the process, he said.

Sean Conway, an assistant attorney general representing ISBE, said there is no actual controversy between ISBE and the parties in the case.

He asked that ISBE not be involved in the court proceedings.

Akemann did not make a decision Tuesday.

He and the attorneys agreed to meet Friday.

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