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CLARK HILL PLC

Steven F. Stapleton (51571)


Gregory N. Longworth (P49249)
Marshall W. Grate (P37728)
Kaveh Kashef (P64443)
Attorneys for Plaintiffs
200 Ottawa Ave. NW Suite 500
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
(616) 608-1100
glongworth@clarkhill.com
sstapleton@clarkhill.com

There Is No Other Pending Or Resolved Civil


Action Arising Out Of The Transaction Or
Occurrence Alleged In The Complaint

Plaintiffs state for their Complaint:

Parties, Jurisdiction and Venue

1. Kalamazoo Public Schools (KPS) is a Michigan general powers school district

located in Kalamazoo County, Kalamazoo, Michigan.

2. The KPS Board of Education is the seven-member legislative body elected by

residents of KPS which governs KPS. The Revised School Code, 1976 P.A. 451, MCL 380.1, et

seq, and Chapter XIV of Michigan Election Law, 1954 P.A. 116, MCL 168.301, et seq, govern

the election of the KPS Board.

3. KPS operates the following public schools in Kalamazoo County: Arcadia

Elementary, Edison Environmental Science Academy, El Sol Elementary, Greenwood

Elementary, Indian Prairie Elementary, King-Westwood Elementary, Lincoln International

Studies School, Milwood Elementary, Northeastern Elementary, Northglade Montessori Magnet

School, Parkwood-Upjohn Elementary, Prairie Ridge Elementary, Spring Valley Center for

Exploration, Washington Writers Academy, Winchell Elementary, Woods Lake Elementary,

Woodward School for Technology and Research, Hillside Middle School, Linden Grove Middle

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School, Maple Street Magnet School for the Arts, Milwood Magnet School: A Center for Math,

Science, and Technology, Kalamazoo Central High School, Loy Norrix High School, Phoenix

High School, Kalamazoo Area Mathematics and Science Center, and Kalamazoo Innovative

Learning Program.

4. KPS students are eligible for a unique scholarship. The Kalamazoo Promise

provides resident graduates of the Kalamazoo Public Schools with up to 100 percent of their

tuition and mandatory fees for four years at Michigans public universities and community

colleges. It is available to students who graduate from KPS, reside in the district, and have been

KPS students four years or more. Enrollment and residency must be continuous. Students who

attend charter schools do not earn credit toward Kalamazoo Promise scholarships during the time

that they are in non-KPS schools.

5. Saginaw Public Schools (SPS) is a Michigan general powers school district

located in Saginaw County, Saginaw, Michigan.

6. The SPS Board of Education is the seven-member legislative body elected by

residents of SPS which governs SPS. The Revised School Code, 1976 P.A. 451, MCL 380.1, et

seq, and Chapter XIV of Michigan Election Law, 1954 P.A. 116, MCL 168.301, et seq, govern

the election of the SPS Board.

7. SPS operates the following schools: Henry Doerr Early Childhood Center, Arthur

Eddy Elementary School, Chester Miller Elementary School, Handley Elementary School, Herig

Elementary School, Jessie Loomis Elementary School, Kempton Elementary School, Merrill

Park Elementary School, Jessie Rouse Elementary School, Stone Elementary School, Saginaw

Arts and Sciences Academy, Willie E. Thompson Middle School, Zilwaukee School, Arthur Hill

High School, Saginaw Career Complex, and Saginaw High School.

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CLARK HILL PLC
Steven F. Stapleton (51571)
Gregory N. Longworth (P49249)
Marshall W. Grate (P37728)
Kaveh Kashef (P64443)
Attorneys for Plaintiffs
200 Ottawa Ave. NW Suite 500
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
(616) 608-1100
glongworth@clarkhill.com
sstapleton@clarkhill.com

There Is No Other Pending Or Resolved Civil


Action Arising Out Of The Transaction Or
Occurrence Alleged In The Complaint

Plaintiffs state for their Complaint:

Parties, Jurisdiction and Venue

1. Kalamazoo Public Schools (KPS) is a Michigan general powers school district

located in Kalamazoo County, Kalamazoo, Michigan.

2. The KPS Board of Education is the seven-member legislative body elected by

residents of KPS which governs KPS. The Revised School Code, 1976 P.A. 451, MCL 380.1, et

seq, and Chapter XIV of Michigan Election Law, 1954 P.A. 116, MCL 168.301, et seq, govern

the election of the KPS Board.

3. KPS operates the following public schools in Kalamazoo County: Arcadia

Elementary, Edison Environmental Science Academy, El Sol Elementary, Greenwood

Elementary, Indian Prairie Elementary, King-Westwood Elementary, Lincoln International

Studies School, Milwood Elementary, Northeastern Elementary, Northglade Montessori Magnet

School, Parkwood-Upjohn Elementary, Prairie Ridge Elementary, Spring Valley Center for

Exploration, Washington Writers Academy, Winchell Elementary, Woods Lake Elementary,

Woodward School for Technology and Research, Hillside Middle School, Linden Grove Middle

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Protocol for School Ranking

54. For several decades, until the 2013-2014 school year, the State of Michigan used

the Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP) as a statewide standardized test.

55. Beginning with the 2014-2015 school year, the State of Michigan stopped using

the MEAP and started using the Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress (M-STEP) as

the statewide test given to students to assess achievement and progress. The M-STEP is not

standardized because, among other things, it has not used standardized testing protocols and

procedures in the administration of the test.

56. Upon information and belief, since the change from MEAP to M-STEP, the

Michigan Department of Education has consistently informed educators and the public that it is

neither appropriate nor psychometrically sound to compare MEAP scores with M-STEP scores.

Similarly, upon information and belief, the School Reform Office initially indicated that results

from the spring 2015 M-STEP, the first administration of M-STEP, would not be used at all and

would instead be treated as a type of pilot administration. Subsequently, the School Reform

Office now asserts that the 2014-2015 M-STEP data should serve only as a baseline upon which

future M-STEP data can be compared. The Michigan Department of Education currently has the

following warning on its website:

The M-STEP is a very different test than tests administered in past years,
therefore, results should not be compared to those from prior years. Because this
is a different test measuring different standards, scores should not be compared to
scores on the MEAP test. This years M-STEP data will provide a baseline to
which future years data can be compared.

57. Similarly, the Michigan Department of Education has consistently informed

educators and the public that significant policy decisions related to priority schools would not

be made based upon comparison of the 2014-2015 M-STEP scores with prior lists, which are

based upon MEAP scores.

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c. There is great potential for negative effects on students where
threats of school closure themselves can have a negative impact on
students.

d. Considerable changes to test content and delivery have occurred


over the last four years and further changes are likely to address
the newly authorized federal law.

83. The State Reform Office has not provided to KPS or SPS any evidence suggesting

that school closure results in better academic outcomes for students.

COUNT 1
UNLAWFUL REORGANIZATION

84. Plaintiffs incorporate the preceding allegations of this Complaint.

85. Under Const. 1963, art. 8, 3, the State Board of Education has at least five

functions. These functions are (1) to exercise [l]eadership and general supervision over all

public education; (2) to serve as the general planning and coordinating body for all public

education; (3) to advise the legislature as to the [financial] requirements in connection

therewith; (4) to appoint the Superintendent of Public Instruction; and (5) to determine the term

of office of the superintendent.

86. These powers, retained by the State Board of Education, give the board authority

over the Superintendent of Public Instruction and control over public education.

87. Under Const. 1963, art. 8, 3, the Superintendent of Public Instruction is the

principal executive officer of the State Department of Education.

88. PA 204 of 2009 added Section 1280c to the Revised School Code, codified at

MCL 380.1280c. Among other things, that section:

A. Created the School Reform District. Section 1280c(6).

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40. Upon information and belief, despite legislative and executive efforts to position

the State of Michigan to qualify for the competitive RTTT grant funding, including the passage

of laws designed to be funded by RTTT funds, Michigan failed to qualify to receive any of the

$4.35 billion in RTTT competitive grant funding.

Section 1280c and the School Reform Officer

41. Despite Michigans failure to qualify for any RTTT competitive grant funding,

Section 1280c was not amended or repealed.

42. In accordance with the Legislatures attempt to enhance the State of Michigans

Application for RTTT competitive grant funding, Section 1280c requires, among other things,

the following:

a. The Superintendent of Public Instruction must publish a list, every year,

identifying the public schools determined to be among the lowest

achieving 5% of all public schools in this state[.]

b. The Superintendent of Public Instruction must then issue an order placing

all public schools on the list under the supervision of the School Reform

Officer. Schools under the School Reform Officers supervision are

sometimes referred to as priority schools.

c. The school board of each public school on the list and under the

supervision of the School Reform Officer must then submit a redesign

plan to the School Reform Officer proposing the implementation at the

public school of one of four types of intervention models, the

requirements of which are provided and defined in RTTT.

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d. Upon the School Reform Offices approval of the redesign plan, the

school board must implement the redesign plan and regularly submit

monitoring reports to the School Reform Officer regarding the

implementation and results of the redesign plan.

43. Upon information and belief, from the time of its passage to the present, the

Michigan Legislature has not authorized any appropriation to any local act school district or

public school academy related to the implementation of Section 1280c.

44. Upon information and belief, Section 1280c imposes upon school districts the

performance of new activities and services, which increase the cost of operating the school

district.

45. Additionally, Section 1280c created the School Reform District as a separate

school district, body corporate and governmental agency.

46. The School Reform Officer acts as the Superintendent of the School Reform

District, and accedes to all the rights, duties, and obligations of the school board with respect to

the particular public schools placed in the School Reform District.

47. There are two circumstances pursuant to which a public school may be placed in

the School Reform District:

a. First, the School Reform Officer must issue an order placing a public

school into the School Reform District if the School Reform Officer does

not approve the redesign plan proposed for implementation at the public

school.

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b. Second, the School Reform Officer must issue an order placing a public

school into the School Reform District if the School Reform Officer

determines that the redesign plan is not achieving satisfactory results.

48. Section 1280c provides no definition or further explanation of the meaning of the

phrase not achieving satisfactory results.

49. Upon placement in the School Reform District, a public school ceases to be

operated by the school board elected to operate it; rather, Section 1280c grants to the School

Reform Officer all authority previously vested in the school board with respect to the public

school.

2015 Reorganization Order

50. Executive Reorganization Order No. 2015-2 was promulgated March 12, 2015 as

Executive Order No. 2015-9, with an effective date of May 12, 2015 (the Reorganization

Order), which is attached as Exhibit 1.

51. Among other things, the Reorganization Order created the School Reform Office

as an autonomous entity within the Department of Technology, Management and Budget and,

with one minor exception, purported to strip the State Superintendent of Public Instruction of all

authority granted to him under Section 1280c and endow the School Reform Office with all

authorities and duties under Section 1280c formerly granted to the State Superintendent of Public

Instruction.

52. Among the authority and duties now purportedly granted to the School Reform

Office, it is the School Reform Offices responsibility to publish the list, each and every year, to

identify the schools determined to be among the lowest 5% of all public schools in the state.

53. Upon information and belief, as part of the process of publishing the list, the

School Reform Officer must establish protocol on the procedure used to generate the list.

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Protocol for School Ranking

54. For several decades, until the 2013-2014 school year, the State of Michigan used

the Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP) as a statewide standardized test.

55. Beginning with the 2014-2015 school year, the State of Michigan stopped using

the MEAP and started using the Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress (M-STEP) as

the statewide test given to students to assess achievement and progress. The M-STEP is not

standardized because, among other things, it has not used standardized testing protocols and

procedures in the administration of the test.

56. Upon information and belief, since the change from MEAP to M-STEP, the

Michigan Department of Education has consistently informed educators and the public that it is

neither appropriate nor psychometrically sound to compare MEAP scores with M-STEP scores.

Similarly, upon information and belief, the School Reform Office initially indicated that results

from the spring 2015 M-STEP, the first administration of M-STEP, would not be used at all and

would instead be treated as a type of pilot administration. Subsequently, the School Reform

Office now asserts that the 2014-2015 M-STEP data should serve only as a baseline upon which

future M-STEP data can be compared. The Michigan Department of Education currently has the

following warning on its website:

The M-STEP is a very different test than tests administered in past years,
therefore, results should not be compared to those from prior years. Because this
is a different test measuring different standards, scores should not be compared to
scores on the MEAP test. This years M-STEP data will provide a baseline to
which future years data can be compared.

57. Similarly, the Michigan Department of Education has consistently informed

educators and the public that significant policy decisions related to priority schools would not

be made based upon comparison of the 2014-2015 M-STEP scores with prior lists, which are

based upon MEAP scores.

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58. Upon information and belief, there are no updated School Ranking Business

Rules that account for the State of Michigans transition from the MEAP test to the M-STEP.

59. Even though Defendants have a statutory duty to publish the list of priority

schools by September 1 of each year for the preceding school year under Section 1280c(a), the

School Reform Office did not publish the lists for the spring 2015 and 2016 data until

September 1, 2016 and January 20, 2017, respectively.

60. The 2014 and 2015 lists included Washington Writers Academy and Woodward

School for Technology and Research from KPS and Jesse Loomis School and Saginaw High

School from SPS (collectively, the Threatened Schools).

61. In the last ten years, Washington Writers Academy has averaged 95% free or

reduced-price lunch eligibility under Title I of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education

Act, while Woodward School for Technology and Research has averaged 89% in the last eight

years.

62. All of the Threatened Schools had redesign plans that the School Reform Officer

approved, and KPS and SPS continue to implement those redesign plans.

63. The School Reform Officer failed to follow any of the requirements of Section

1280c as applied to KPS and SPS.

School Reform Officers Recent Unlawful Actions Against Priority Schools

64. The State Board of Education, which is constitutionally vested with the

responsibility for [l]eadership and general supervision over all public education, has

promulgated a policy on state school turnaround (the State Board Policy), which is attached as

Exhibit 2.

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65. Among other things, the State Board Policy sets forth a timeline for state school

turnaround and requires transparency and community involvement in the school turnaround

process.

66. On August 23, 2016, the State Board of Education Legislative Committee issued a

statement, which provided, among other things, the following:

While school closures may be necessary in some instances, those decisions are
generally made at the local level and after much public deliberation, and include a
quality, public option for affected students. Even then, closing a school can have
many negative impacts on children, families and communities. These decisions
should not be taken lightly or made quickly without community input.

We are deeply concerned about the [School Reform Offices] lack of transparency
and community involvement in this process. Given the impact that these
decisions will have on students, parents, taxpayers and communities, we believe
that a communication process, as outlined in the SBE policy, must be
implemented immediately. This includes the SRO conducting community
meetings to inform the taxpayers of plans for their schools.

67. On January 20, 2017, the School Reform Office published the 2016 list, which

identifies schools claimed to be the lowest achieving 5% of all public schools in the state based

on state test results and therefore presumably subject to the next level of accountability.

68. Each of the Threatened Schools was included in the 2016 list.

69. In the January 20, 2017 disclosure of the 2016 list, the School Reform Officer

stated:

Over the next thirty (30) days the SRO will be examining the geographic,
academic and enrollment capacity of other public school options for children. If it
is determined that closing some of the thirty-eight (38) schools at risk of closure is
not feasible due to unreasonable hardship for the children attending that school
because no better options are available, the SRO will rescind the closure notice by
February 28th and implement a different turn-around option, including naming a
CEO, changing the Redesign Plan, or placement into the State School Reform
District.

70. The School Reform Officer did not provide any statutory authority supporting the

planned actions against the Threatened Schools.

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71. As of this date, in support of her efforts, the School Reform Officer has only

identified legislation that is applicable to Detroit Public Schools and the creation of a new

Community District (MCL 380.391), which is not applicable to the Threatened Schools.

72. The School Reform Officer continues to take action against the Threatened

Schools even though Section 1280c does not provide for such authority.

73. As of this date, none of the Threatened Schools has been placed in the School

Reform District.

74. As of this date, KPSs and SPSs boards of educations have not recommended the

closure of the Threatened Schools.

75. Also, on January 20, 2017, the School Reform Officer sent a letter to the

parents/guardians of the schools subject to closure (the Parent Letter). See Exhibit 3 (Parent

Ltr. to KPS parents); Exhibit 4 (Parent Ltr. to SPS parents).

76. The Parent Letter stated that the School Reform Officer sent the letter because

the school your child attends is at risk of being closed by June 30, 2017, due to academic failure

for many years.

77. The Parent Letter further stated that:

For the next thirty (30) days we will work with your local school district and
community to finalize this decision. We will be looking at other public school
options for your child. If we determine that closing your school would create a
hardship because there are no better options at this time, we will not close the
school. You will receive an update about the decision by the end of
February/beginning of March.

78. Attached to the Parent Letter was a list of proposed options for the student. These

options included schools up to approximately forty miles away from the location of the students

current school. The School Reform Officer did not provide any options for school district

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transportation to another school or address which other schools have a School of Choice program

or adequate capacity to absorb some, let alone all, of the students from the Threatened Schools.

79. In the Parent Letter, the School Reform Officer did not provide any statutory

authority to support her proposed actions, or the authority to send such a communication to the

parent/guardian.

80. Since disclosure of the 2016 list and the Parent Letter, the School Reform Officer

has had limited contact with KPS and SPS.

81. The February 7, 2017 edition of The Bond Buyer, a publication for public finance

authorities, indicated that the threatened school closures in Michigan school districts are a credit

negative and, therefore, have a negative impact on the districts credit rating. According to

Moodys Investor Service, the school closing process adds unpredictability to an already

volatile sector and is credit negative for the affected districts because it makes budgeting for

operations challenging and threatens revenues.

82. On February 14, 2017, the State Board of Education issued a Statement on School

Closures and Definition of Hardship (the SBE Statement), which is attached as Exhibit 5. In

the SBE Statement, the State Board of Education advised the School Reform Officer to rescind

all school closures based on a number of reasons, including:

a. No clear definition for Unreasonable Hardship exists.

b. There is a potential for disruption and harm to students, as school


closure is a state-created form of student mobility and a large body
of research finds that student mobility can have harmful effects on
student performance. This includes a greater likelihood of
increased drop-out rates, lowered achievement, increased chance
of substance abuse, lower levels of occupational prestige, increased
symptoms of depression, and greater likelihood to be arrested as
adults.

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c. There is great potential for negative effects on students where
threats of school closure themselves can have a negative impact on
students.

d. Considerable changes to test content and delivery have occurred


over the last four years and further changes are likely to address
the newly authorized federal law.

83. The State Reform Office has not provided to KPS or SPS any evidence suggesting

that school closure results in better academic outcomes for students.

COUNT 1
UNLAWFUL REORGANIZATION

84. Plaintiffs incorporate the preceding allegations of this Complaint.

85. Under Const. 1963, art. 8, 3, the State Board of Education has at least five

functions. These functions are (1) to exercise [l]eadership and general supervision over all

public education; (2) to serve as the general planning and coordinating body for all public

education; (3) to advise the legislature as to the [financial] requirements in connection

therewith; (4) to appoint the Superintendent of Public Instruction; and (5) to determine the term

of office of the superintendent.

86. These powers, retained by the State Board of Education, give the board authority

over the Superintendent of Public Instruction and control over public education.

87. Under Const. 1963, art. 8, 3, the Superintendent of Public Instruction is the

principal executive officer of the State Department of Education.

88. PA 204 of 2009 added Section 1280c to the Revised School Code, codified at

MCL 380.1280c. Among other things, that section:

A. Created the School Reform District. Section 1280c(6).

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B. Provides that the Superintendent of Public Instruction shall hire the School Reform

Officer, who is responsible directly to the Superintendent of Public Instruction to

ensure that the purposes of the section are carried out. Section 1280c(9).

C. Requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction annually to publish a list

identifying the public schools in Michigan that the Department of Education has

determined to be among the lowest achieving 5% of all public schools in the state.

Section 1280c(1).

D. Requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction to issue an order placing each

public school on the list under the supervision of the School Reform Officer. Section

1280c(2).

E. Requires that public schools on the list work with the School Reform Officer to

recommend and develop a redesign plan, which the local school board shall

implement beginning the next school year after the School Reform Officer approves

the redesign plan. Section 1280c(2)-(5). One of the four intervention models for the

redesign plan is closure of the public school. Section 1280c(2).

F. Requires the School Reform Officer to issue an order placing a public school that is

not achieving satisfactory results under the redesign plan in the School Reform

District, imposing one of the four intervention models (one of which is closure of the

public school). Section 1280c(6).

G. Designates the School Reform Officer as the superintendent of the School Reform

District. Section 1280c(6)(b).

H. Authorizes the School Reform Officer to appoint a chief executive officer to take

control of multiple public schools. Section 1280c(7).

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89. Each of the provisions and requirements of Section 1280c involve public

education as that term is used in Const. 1963, art. 8, 3.

90. Under Const. 1963, art. 8, 3, all of these functions must be within the ultimate

control of the State Board of Education.

91. The Reorganization Order, effective May 12, 2015, created the School Reform

Office as an autonomous entity within the Department of Technology, Management and Budget.

Reorganization Order, II.A.

92. The Reorganization Order provided that the Director of the Department of

Technology, Management and Budget is the appointing authority for the School Reform Office.

Reorganization Order, II.B.

93. The Reorganization Order transferred the State Reform District from the

Department of Education to the State Reform Office. Reorganization Order, III.A.

94. The Reorganization Order transferred the State Reform Officer from the

Department of Education to the State Reform Office. Reorganization Order, III.B.

95. The Reorganization Order transferred [a]ll authority, powers, duties, functions,

and responsibilities of the Department of Education under Section 1280c from the Department

of Education to the State Reform Office. Reorganization Order, III.C.

96. The Reorganization Order transferred all authority, powers, functions, and

responsibilities of the Superintendent of Public Instruction under Section 1280c (other than the

limited authority, powers, duties, functions, and responsibilities to hear and decide appeals from

a local school board or a board of directors under Section 1280c(4)) to the State Reform Office.

Reorganization Order, III.D.

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97. The result of the Reorganization Order is that, with the exception of appeals from

a local school board or a board of directors under Section 1280c(4), all other authority, powers,

functions, and responsibilities within the ultimate control of the Board of Education under

Section 1280c are now under the ultimate control of the Department of Technology,

Management and Budget.

98. By transferring ultimate control of the authority, powers, functions, and

responsibilities of Section 1280c from the State Board of Education to the Department of

Technology, Management and Budget, the Reorganization Order violated Const. 1963, art. 8,

3.

99. The continued exercise of authority, power, functions, and responsibilities of the

School Reform Office, the School Reform Officer, the School Reform District, and any chief

executive officer that the School Reform Officer may appoint under the ultimate control of the

Department of Technology, Management and Budget violates Const. 1963, art. 8, 3.

100. The creation of the School Reform Office within the Department of Technology,

Management and Budget violates Const. 1963, art. 8, 3.

101. All actions taken by the School Reform Officer, the School Reform Office, the

School Reform District, and any chief executive officer that the School Reform Officer may

appoint have been invalid and ultra vires and otherwise unlawful and without legal effect.

COUNT 2
SCHOOL REFORM OFFICE AND OFFICER ACTING ULTRA VIRES

102. Plaintiffs incorporate the preceding allegations of this Complaint.

103. The Threatened Schools are not part of a community district and are not a

public school academy, urban high school academy, or a school of excellence as those

terms are used and defined in the Revised School Code.

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104. As a result, the only provision of state law that gives the School Reform Officer

any authority or potential authority over the Threatened Schools is Section 1280c.

105. Under Section 1280c(6), the School Reform Officer may impose one of the four

intervention models on a public school only after the School Reform Officer has issued an order

placing the public school in the School Reform District.

106. The School Reform Officer has not issued an order placing the Threatened

Schools, or any other school, in the School Reform District.

107. In fact, the School Reform Officer has not followed the requirements of the

Revised School Code and the State School Aid Act, with which the School Reform Officers

own Operating Procedures Handbook indicates all public schools, including schools within the

scope of Section 1280c, must comply.

108. Without placing the Threatened Schools in the School Reform District, the School

Reform Officer is without any authority or power to impose one of the four intervention models

on the Threatened Schools.

109. Without placing the Threatened Schools in the School Reform District, the School

Reform Officer is without any authority or power to order the closure of any of the Threatened

Schools.

110. The School Reform Officers issuance of the Parent Letter to the Threatened

Schools students parents and guardians has caused and is causing irreparable injury to KPS and

SPS. For example, Plaintiffs believe that some students parents are investigating other school

options as a result of having received the letter. Numerous parents have expressed concerns and

uncertainty to KPSs and SPSs superintendents and other administrative staff and teachers.

Parents have expressed frustration with Defendants actions and threats to close the Threatened

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Schools. Parents and teachers have expressed that many students feel insecure, scared, and

frustrated about the possibility that their school may be closed.

COUNT 3
DUE PROCESS

111. Plaintiffs incorporate the preceding allegations of this Complaint.

112. Section 1280c(6)s requirement that the School Reform Officer issue an order

placing a public school in the School Reform District if the School Reform Officer determines

that the redesign plan is not achieving satisfactory results does not provide fair notice of the

conduct it regulates.

113. Section 1280c(6)s requirement that the School Reform Officer place a public

school in the School Reform District if the School Reform Officer determines that the redesign

plan is not achieving satisfactory results does not provide fair notice of the conduct it regulates.

114. Section 1280c(1)s requirement that the Superintendent of Public Instruction

determine the public schools among the lowest achieving 5% of all public schools in Michigan

does not provide fair notice of the criteria or methodology used to make that determination.

115. KPS and SPS and the Threatened Schools have not been provided fair notice of

the satisfactory results that the Threatened Schools are required to demonstrate to ensure not

being ordered into the School Reform District and thus being taken over and operated by the

School Reform Officer.

116. Section 1280c(6)s requirement that the School Reform Officer issue an order

placing a public school in the School Reform District if the School Reform Officer determines

that the redesign plan is not achieving satisfactory results gives the School Reform Officer

unstructured and unlimited discretion in determining whether a public school has achieved

satisfactory results.

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117. Section 1280c(6) is unconstitutionally vague and violates Plaintiffs due process

rights.

118. For the 2013-2014 school year, the State applied certain business rules related to

the ranking of schools in Michigan. Upon information and belief, the School Reform Office

used no business rules for the 2014-2015 school year. For the 2015-2016 school year, the State

Reform Office relied on new business rules, which were different from the prior business rules in

many respects.

119. Upon information and belief, the School Reform Officer has taken, and will

continue to take, action against the Threatened Schools even though those schools may not, in

fact, be in the lowest achieving 5% of all public schools in Michigan if fair and consistent

business rules and testing procedures were used.

120. In any event, even if the School Reform Officer took action on a list that included

only the lowest achieving 5% of all public schools in Michigan, the data relied on to create the

list are statistically unreliable.

121. Each of the Threatened Schools has improved in the past three school years.

122. For example, with respect to KPSs Threatened Schools, the schools have worked

with various organizations and individual community members and educators (including the

Kalamazoo Regional Educational Service Agency, KPSs school-improvement-grant monitors

from the Michigan Department of Education, Communities in Schools Kalamazoo, Western

Michigan University, Kalamazoo College, and others) and those organizations and individuals

have remarked about positive changes in school climate and culture, focus, and increases in

results in the Northwest Evaluation Association, Measures of Academic Progress (NWEA-

MAP).

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123. As a further example, with respect to SPS, staff at Jessie Loomis Elementary and

Saginaw High School have adopted Restorative Practices to enhance their positive behavior

instructional support (PBIS) initiative. This has resulted in fewer disciplinary referrals and

suspensions. M-STEP proficiency has increased within most elementary grade levels and

graduation rates continue to demonstrate a positive trend. Moreover, Saginaw High Schools

scorecard indicates that proficiency targets were met in ELA, math, and Social Studies. Before

transitioning to the SAT in 2016, Saginaw High Schools English and reading ACT scores also

improved from 2014 to 2015.

124. Due process requires that the laws regulating persons or entities give fair notice of

the required or prescribed.

125. Permitting the Superintendent of Public Instruction or the School Reform Office

and the School Reform Officer to act without establishing clear, unambiguous standards not only

violates due process rights, it is fundamentally unfair to Plaintiffs and the Threatened Schools

students and parents and guardians.

126. As a direct and proximate result of the enactment of Section 1280c and

Defendants actions, Plaintiffs have suffered and will continue to suffer a loss of their

constitutionally protected rights to due process.

127. Because all prior and any future actions of the Superintendent of Public

Instruction or School Reform Office and the School Reform Officer related to the Threatened

Schools have been and will be effectuated under statutory provisions that are unconstitutionally

vague and constitutionally impermissible, such action is unlawful.

COUNT 4
VIOLATION OF THE HEADLEE AMENDMENT

128. Plaintiffs incorporate the preceding allegations of this Complaint.

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135. Defendants have not fully funded KPSs and SPSs increased operational costs, in

violation of the second sentence of Const. 1963, art. 9, 29.

PRAYER FOR RELIEF

Plaintiffs request, in addition to their fees, costs, and such other relief as is just and

equitable, the following relief:

A. A judgment declaring that the Reorganization Order violated and violates Const.

1963, art. 8, 3, and is, therefore, void ab initio.

B. A judgment declaring that all actions of the School Reform Office and the School

Reform Officer since the effective date of the Reorganization Order, including

issuing the order placing the Threatened Schools under the supervision of the

School Reform Officer, are void ab initio because they violate Const. 1963, art. 8,

3.

C. A judgment declaring that, because the School Reform Officer has not issued an

order placing the Threatened Schools in the School Reform District, the School

Reform Officer is without authority or power to initiate an intervention model for

the Threatened Schools, including closure.

D. A preliminary and final injunction enjoining Defendants from making public

pronouncements that they have the authority or power to close, or to implement

any other intervention model for, the Threatened Schools and from

communicating with the Threatened Schools students parents and guardians

about possible implementation of an intervention model.

E. A judgment declaring that Defendants failure to publish legally promulgated,

objective criteria to implement MCL 380.1280c, including the terms not

achieving satisfactory results and among the lowest achieving 5% of all public

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