The Alaska Supreme Court has set a schedule for the appeal in the ongoing Ketchikan Gateway Borough’s education funding lawsuit.
According to the scheduling order, opening briefs are due by May 12, briefs are due June 30, and reply briefs are due July 28.
Oral arguments are Sept. 14.
The state lost the main point of the case in a January lower court ruling, when Superior Court Judge William Carey decided in the Ketchikan Gateway Borough’s favor. Essentially, Carey agreed with the borough’s position that the required local contribution for public education is essentially a dedicated tax, and therefore violates the state Constitution.
Alaska Department of Law attorneys quickly filed an appeal with the Supreme Court. The high court agreed to take the case, and agreed to put Carey’s ruling on hold until the appeal is decided.
If the ruling had not been delayed pending the outcome of the appeal, state lawmakers would have had some challenging decisions to make about education funding.
Through the required local contribution, Alaska municipalities will provide an estimated $220 million for public schools this year.