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Judges refuses to dismiss lawsuit over school funding

October 5, 2018

DOVER, Del. (AP) — A judge has denied a request by local governments to dismiss a lawsuit alleging that Delaware officials are failing to provide adequate educational opportunities for disadvantaged students, partly because school property tax collections are based on outdated assessments.

The judge said Friday that he has jurisdiction to decide whether counties are not complying with a state law requiring that property be assessed at fair market value. The law, however, does not require that counties conduct reassessments on any particular schedule.

Kent County last reassessed property values in 1987, and New Castle County’s current assessment dates to 1983. Sussex County, home to million-dollar beach homes, last reassessed property values in 1974.

In addition to county finance directors, other defendants are Gov. John Carney and Delaware’s education secretary and state treasurer.

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