A school fee lawsuit brought against the West Ada School District last year has been dismissed.

Parent Molly Hyde, represented by Robert Huntley, sought to recover damages for herself and every parent, guardian or student in the district who had paid “illegal and unconstitutional” student fees since the fall of 2014.

“We voluntarily dismissed it because of the fact that we didn’t have any clients who were in the junior high...and senior high group,” Huntley said. “We just didn’t have the right kind of plaintiffs. Her kids were preschool.”

Huntley is representing parents in a similar case against the Pocatello/Chubbuck School District that has a better shot of getting a class action ruling — meaning the case would potentially represent all parents and guardians in that school district or across the state who have paid so-called unconstitutional fees, Huntley said.

At the core of both lawsuits is that school districts should not be allowed to charge student fees or issue classroom supply lists because the Idaho Constitution calls for a free and uniform public education system.

The Pocatello plaintiffs, parents Mike Zeyan and Rachael Booth, have five children across age groups, Huntley said.

Huntley also represented Russell Joki, a former Nampa School District superintendent and West Ada school board member, in a school fee lawsuit against West Ada from 2012 to 2015.

Joki brought the case on behalf of fees he paid for his grandchildren. The judge ruled that the fees were unconstitutional.

The following year, West Ada stopped charging class fees. The district budgeted $865,000 for next school year to cover the lost revenue.


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