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DeRolph v. State of Ohio Resource Center

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    Representation of the Ohio Coalition for Equity & Adequacy of School Funding

    Briefs and decisions in DeRolph v. State

    In the 1990s, the Ohio Coalition for Equity & Adequacy was made up of over 550 public school districts across Ohio. Attorneys at Bricker & Eckler LLP have represented the Coalition since its inception in the pursuit of school funding reform in Ohio. With the firm's assistance, the school children of Ohio's public schools were victorious in the case it presented to the Ohio Supreme Court (DeRolph I). The Court directed the State to develop a new system of school funding to be further reviewed by the Ohio Supreme Court. On May 11, 2000, the Ohio Supreme Court, in a 4-3 decision, found that while some improvement had been made by the General Assembly, more was needed to meet the Constitutional standard (DeRolph II).

    The Court gave the General Assembly another year to enact the recommended improvements. The Supreme Court ruled again in September 2001 that the state funding system could be found constitutional if certain modifications were made (DeRolph III). Following unsuccessful Court-ordered mediation among the parties with a special master, the Ohio Supreme Court responded to a motion for reconsideration of the September 2001 decision filed by the State. (DeRolph IV). In its reconsideration opinion, in December 2002, the Court held that DeRolph I and II are the law of the case, and the current school-funding system is unconstitutional. Following various motions before the Perry County Court of Common Pleas for a compliance conference and before the Ohio Supreme Court on a writ of prohibition, the Ohio Supreme Court on May 16, 2003 granted the State's request for a Writ of Prohibition, effectively ending the DeRolph proceedings at the Ohio Supreme Court (DeRolph V).

    On August 13, 2003, the DeRolph plaintiffs filed a petition for a Writ of Certiorari with the United States Supreme Court. The petition was denied by the U.S. Supreme Court on October 20, 2003.

    Counsel Biographies

    Nicholas A. Pittner

    John F. Birath (retired)

    Sue W. Yount

    Susan B. Greenberger