The Ketchikan Gateway Borough today appealed an earlier motion that would allow the Association of Alaska School Boards, the Alaska Council of School Administrators and the Alaska Superintendents Association to join the ongoing education funding lawsuit as friends of the court in support of the State of Alaska. If granted, the groups would file a brief supporting the State’s claims.

In mid-March, the Alaska Supreme Court granted a motion from the Fairbanks North Star Borough to join the lawsuit as a friend of the court on the side of the Ketchikan Gateway Borough.

The Borough contends that the required local contribution for public education is a dedicated tax, and therefore violates the state Constitution. The Borough’s position is that the issue is broader than education funding and not unique to those groups, therefore AASB, ACSA and ASA should not be allowed to join the appeal.

In January, Superior Court Judge William Carey decided in the Ketchikan Gateway Borough’s favor.  Alaska Department of Law attorneys quickly filed an appeal with the Supreme Court. The high court agreed to take the case, and to put Carey’s ruling on hold until the appeal is decided.

In an earlier decision, the Supreme Court determined that all briefs in the appeal would be completed by July 28th, and oral arguments would be September 14th.