by Max Brantley
The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals today upheld the dimissal of a lawsuit challenging the consolidation of the Lakeview School District with the Barton-Lexa School District. Lakeview, you may remember, gave its name to the historic state lawsuit over unconstitutional school funding and was consolidated itself in the aftermath.
The plaintiffs argued, among others, that majority black school districts were disproportionately affected by school consolidation and that the 350-student minimum district limit was arbitrary. The court said legislation implementing the state Supreme Court's Lakeview ruling was racially neutral on its face. It also said the state had a legitimate interest in promoting economies of scale in school districts.