BUFFALO CENTER, Iowa – A Kossuth County family is moving forward with a federal lawsuit over where their children can go to school, and who has to pay the tuition bill.
According to court documents filed Friday, Duane and Julie Davids, of Lakota, have been sending their three children to school in the Blue Earth Area School District in Minnesota. They asked North Iowa Community Schools to enter into a tuition reimbursement agreement with Blue Earth schools in 2008. That agreement was never reached, and Blue Earth schools then sought tuition from the Davids after not getting reimbursement from the state of Iowa. Documents show the Davids have paid Blue Earth schools more than $20,000 since the 2011-2012 school year, and owe another $10,604 for the current school year.
The Davids maintain that North Iowa Community Schools have been reimbursed for educating their children through the state, and have kept the money even though the Davids children did not attend school there. They are suing the Iowa Department of Education, North Iowa Community School District, and current and former district board members.
Minutes of school board meetings show board members denied the Davids’ repeated requests due to the location of their home relative to each school district. They appealed to the Iowa Department of Education but the appeal was denied. The Davids claim other families have been allowed to attend school across state lines with no distance requirement, and failure to allow them to do the same is discriminatory.