A Ramsey County judge dismissed a metro-area charter school's lawsuit against the state and its state-approved overseer Wednesday, saying the district court lacks jurisdiction in the case.
The Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy, which has campuses in Inver Grove Heights and Blaine, accused the state Department of Education and the nonprofit Islamic Relief-USA of obstructing its efforts to line up a new overseer. The school needs such an overseer to stay open past this summer.
The state and Islamic Relief were co-defendants in an ongoing American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit against TiZA on accusations that the school promotes religion. Both have settled with the ACLU.
Charter-school legislation kicking in at the end of June will ban out-of-state authorizers, and Washington, D.C.-based Islamic Relief agreed not to try to incorporate in Minnesota in its settlement with the ACLU. Meanwhile, the state application of a new would-be authorizer for TiZA has stalled over a document dispute.
According to Shamus O'Meara, TiZA's lead counsel, the district court ruled that jurisdiction in the case lies with the Minnesota Court of Appeals.
The school will seriously consider refiling its suit in the appeals court, O'Meara said: "We hope to find some common ground with our sponsor and the department rather than suing each other."