Dr. Rick Timbs of the Statewide Schools Finance Consortium was on WIBX's First News with Keeler Friday in reaction to the announced civil rights suit charged against the Utica City School District by the NYS Attorney General's Office.  Timbs suggested that the school district might be able to countersue and file a civil liberties case against the State of New York.

Last week, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed a claim against the Utica City School District in federal court charging that the school was violating the rights of refugees ages 16 through 21 by not providing them a sound education.

Poll- Is the Lawsuit fair to the Utica City School District?

The AG claims the District’s practices have effectively deprived many refugees and immigrants the opportunity to obtain meaningful education and a high school diploma.

“Every New Yorker under the age of twenty-one has a right to attend public school in the District in which they reside, regardless of immigration status or national origin,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “Access to a quality education is the foundation of the American Dream.  School districts cannot place arbitrary impediments and barriers in the way of immigrants and refugees who have struggled to achieve a better life for themselves and their families.”

Audio: Utica School District Attorney Says It's Like the "State Suing Itself"

"Why would the sate sue a school district that it owes $47 million dollars to this year alone," asked Timbs.  He then suggested that it's not the school that is denying these students their rights, it could actually be the state.

"If you wan to talk discrimination, How about pointing out that Utica is 62% minority population, and it is not fully funded. Couldn't the Utica City School District then counter sue with the federal government saying the the civil rights of our students have been violated because the state has not lived up to its constitutional obligation to fund these schools?"

Listen to the complete interview, Parts 1 and 2, here:

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