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In re Vaughn School Transfer Petition

In re Vaughn School Transfer Petition, 2015 MT 313 (Nov 3, 2015) (Rice, J.; McKinnon, J., dissenting) (4-1, aff’d)

Issue: Whether the district court erred by affirming a panel of county school superintendents’ decision to dismiss a school territory transfer petition.

Short Answer: No.


Facts: The Hillcrest Hutterite Colony Attendance Center in Cascade County was formed after several colony members petitioned the Vaughn School District’s Board of Trustees in February 2013. The school district and the colony entered into a contract under which the school district agreed to provide educational services in exchange for use of a colony facility. The parties agreed that the school would be operated as a public school of the Vaughn School District. The district employs a full-time teacher and a teacher’s aide at the center, and provides books, equipment and teaching supplies.…

In re Poplar Elem. v. Froid Elem.

In re Poplar Elem. v. Froid Elem., 2015 MT 278 (Sept. 17, 2015) (Rice. J.; Shea, J., dissenting) (4-1, rev’d)

Issue: Whether the district court erred in holding the county superintendent abused his discretion by receiving unsworn statements as evidence in the territory transfer hearing.

Short Answer: Yes.

Reversed and remanded

Facts: In March 2013, Froid’s board of trustees and a group of Roosevelt County electors petitioned the Roosevelt County school superintendent to transfer territory from the Poplar school district to the Froid school district. Poplar opposed the transfer. By statute, the county superintendent was required to hold a hearing on the petition. She appointed Paul Huber to act as deputy superintendent to hold the hearing and decide the petition.…