While the State of Alaska and the Ketchikan Gateway Borough wait for the Alaska Supreme Court to consider an emergency motion for a stay in the borough’s ongoing lawsuit over education funding, an earlier emergency motion for a stay is still moving through the lower court process.

The borough this week filed its opposition to that emergency motion, and on Thursday, the state filed a reply to the opposition and a request for oral arguments in front of Ketchikan Superior Court Judge William Carey.

The Department of Law’s reply argues that a stay is important because the Legislature needs to know how to legally fund schools. State lawyers also point out that school districts statewide need to know whether they will receive local funding for education.

Carey’s January ruling in the borough’s favor invalidated the long-held required local contribution from municipal governments, and the state quickly appealed that decision to Alaska’s high court.

Without a stay, Judge Carey’s ruling stands until the Supreme Court makes a decision. That could take up to a year.

A hearing for oral arguments to be presented has been scheduled for Feb. 20th at 11:15 a.m. in Ketchikan Superior Court.

UPDATE; The Alaska Supreme Court has issued an order that it would consider the state’s emergency motion for a stay after the lower court has ruled on the topic.