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Legal challenge of 2017 Pasco school rezoning runs out

An appellate court dismisses the last remaining challenge, calling the case “moot.”
Longleaf resident Jim Stanley testifies in his group's first administrative challenge of Pasco school district boundary changes, in February 2017. [Times | 2017]
Longleaf resident Jim Stanley testifies in his group's first administrative challenge of Pasco school district boundary changes, in February 2017. [Times | 2017]
Published Sep. 10, 2018
Updated Sep. 10, 2018

An appellate court has killed the vestiges of some west Pasco families' legal challenge of the school district's 2017 attendance zone revisions.

The 2nd District Court of Appeal on Friday dismissed the case, which questioned whether the School Board followed state rule making law in setting new boundaries for west Pasco middle and high schools. An administrative judge found no problems with the district's procedures, and the families sought further review.

Related coverage: Administrative judge sides with Pasco County school district in west-side rezoning challenge

The court noted the situation that prompted the case no longer existed.

The action in question was resolved after a county judge invalidated the board's action because of a sunshine law violation by members of a community-based advisory committee. The district did not appeal that decision, instead moving ahead with a new rezoning effort.

Related coverage: Judge voids Pasco County school district's 2017 west-side rezoning

The board adopted a map with only slight variations from the original, and faced little opposition. Jim Stanley, one of the initial plaintiffs, filed a second complaint against the district but soon dropped it.

The only issue remaining between the sides is a battle over legal fees. The families have asked the district for several thousand dollars to cover the costs of their challenge.

Some west-side schools, meanwhile, continue to cope with crowding, while others still have several open seats. District officials have said they do not plan to redraw the zones again until new schools are built.

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