Appeals Court Sets Deadline for State Response to School Funding Lawsuit

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) -- Lawyers for parents in two rural Alabama counties have asked a federal appeals court to reverse a judge's ruling upholding the state's property tax system.

The attorneys argue in their appeal briefs filed late last week that the most lasting and damaging vestiges of segregation and white supremacy in Alabama can be found in Alabama's historically low property taxes.

The parents claimed in their lawsuit that Alabama's tax system was set up following the Civil War to keep property taxes low and to limit funding for black students.

U.S. District Judge Lynwood Smith ruled in October that parents did not prove the state's tax system was discriminatory.

The 11th U.S. Court of Appeals has given attorneys for the state until Jan. 23 to respond to the parents' appeal.

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