MN Supreme Court: OK to proceed on school segregation suit

Speaking to reporters
Attorney John Shulman spoke to reporters outside the Hennepin County Government Center in Minneapolis, Nov. 5, 2015, after filing a lawsuit alleging racially segregated schools have caused a gap in achievement between minority and white students.
Brandt Williams | MPR News 2015

State courts can decide whether Minnesota has failed in its responsibility to teach poor students and students of color, the Minnesota Supreme Court said Wednesday.

The ruling allows a high-profile education lawsuit to proceed.

Attorney Dan Shulman, who represents the seven families and a Minneapolis nonprofit who sued the state, said the ruling opens the door for them to prove their case that the state should desegregate schools in St. Paul and Minneapolis.

"I am absolutely thrilled and tremendously gratified by it," Shulman said. "It is a major, major decision for Minnesota, for the country as a whole, and for the schoolchildren I represent. It is just a thrilling win."

Shulman said he expects to bring the case to trial within a year.

The state had argued that deciding educational quality is not a judge's job. Wednesday's opinion reverses a ruling from the Court of Appeals.