The Minnesota Supreme Court will hear the lawsuit brought by Minneapolis and St. Paul school parents who say that segregation has denied poor and minority children an adequate education.
On Wednesday the Supreme Court order agreed to review the case. The Minnesota Court of Appeals had thrown out the suit in March.
A group of Minneapolis and St. Paul School District parents sued in November 2015, saying the state knew about segregation along race and poverty lines and didn’t give students a sufficient education. Attorneys called for a metrowide integration plan and other changes to help segregated schools.
Oral arguments will probably be in the fall, according to the briefing schedule, said Daniel Shulman of Gray Plant Mooty, the lead attorney for the parents.
Shulman said he was “overjoyed and gratified” that the Supreme Court will consider the case.
Attorneys for the state have argued that the plaintiffs did not find intentional discrimination. They have sought to have the suit dismissed.
A Department of Education spokeswoman on Wednesday said the DOE is reviewing the order and did not have any additional comments.
In March, after the Court of Appeals threw out the suit, Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius said the state was committed to student achievement, and “we have made significant progress in reducing educational disparities.”
Of the metro area’s elementary-level charter schools, 58 percent have predominantly minority students and 19 percent have predominantly white students. Nearly all of the predominantly minority charter schools have high levels of poverty as well, according to a 2015 Star Tribune analysis of data from the Minnesota Department of Education.
In Minneapolis and St. Paul, open enrollment to suburban or charter schools has resulted in the two districts becoming isolated with poor and minority students, the lawsuit states.