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Judge: ISBE has no role in District 303 lawsuit

Published: Friday, May 24, 2013 3:53 p.m. CST • Updated: Saturday, May 25, 2013 12:29 a.m. CST

GENEVA – Judge David Akemann ruled Friday that the Illinois State Board of Education should not be a third-party defendant in the lawsuit filed against St. Charles School District 303 over the reconfiguration of two elementary schools.

Before announcing his decision, Akemann noted the heart of the case: whether the restructuring of Davis and Richmond elementary schools qualified as a school improvement plan under the Illinois School Code.

"The defendant is the party responsible under the law for meeting those requirements," Akemann said. "Use of the term 'the' is significant in this court."

He dismissed the motion with prejudice, meaning the district cannot re-file its request to bring ISBE onto the case.

District 303 had asked that ISBE be a third-party defendant on the case because the allegations involve matters the state agency is in charge of and would have to be involved in undoing the changes if the judge so orders. Tim Dwyer, the attorney representing a group of parents who filed the lawsuit in 2011, said this motion by the district was among other "frivolous" motions the district has filed as delay tactics.

"It's just a three-month waste of time," he said outside the courtroom.

Dwyer asked the judge to set a trial date as soon as possible.

"We can start in two weeks," Dwyer said. "We're ready and prepared to go." Meanwhile, the schools are ending their second year as Davis Primary and Richmond Intermediate.

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