Legal ideas

Complaint As Filed in Coos County Circuit Court (092523).pdf

This window lets you read the entire 40-page legal Complaint we filed in the Coos County Circuit Court. 

Complaint in Coos County Circuit Court

On September 25, 2023 we filed a Complaint in the Coos County Circuit Court that begins by saying:

"Despite the guarantees to Oregon’s schoolchildren in Article VIII “Education and School Lands” of the Oregon Constitution, Oregon’s schools have been and continue to be chronically and constitutionally underfunded.  Oregon’s Common School Lands, established by section 2 of Article VIII, provide an important and independent source of funds for public education. Oregon politicians and agencies, Defendants herein, have diverted significant value from Common School Lands to non-school purposes and have failed to adhere to their fiduciary duties as trustees of those lands for the benefit of Oregon’s schoolchildren.

"This lawsuit asks the Court to issue declarations to enforce the accountability envisioned by Article VIII, section 8 by ordering the Oregon Legislature to prepare a report regarding the insufficiency of funding for the 2021-2023 and 2023-2025 bienniums and to uphold Article VIII’s guarantees to Oregon’s schoolchildren by declaring invalid the sale of the Elliott State Forest (a large portion of the Common School Lands) to a newly established state agency for a small fraction of its actual value.  "

Defs Rule 21 Motions (120523).pdf

This window lets you read the State's reply.

The State's Reply

On December 5, 2023, the Attorney General's office finally responded. You can read their reply nearby.

Response FS (010424).pdf

Our Response

On January 4, 2024, we filed our "Response".

Sullivan Dec w- Exh 1-12 FS (010424).pdf

Supporting docs

This 110-page declaration by Dave Sullivan contains about 10 supporting documents.

Next steps ...

The Defendants will file yet another reply later this month, then we all go to the Coos County Circuit Court on January 29th.

We expect our Complaint will be successful: It should force Oregon to once again manage Common School Lands to benefit public schools. This would be an important step in providing Oregon's schools with a stronger, more consistent source of funding. 

You can help us: Filing a lawsuit is expensive. Please consider joining Oregon Advocates for School Trust Lands and making a donation to the organization. Together we can make a difference for Oregon's school funding.