e-Journal Summary

e-Journal Number : 32697
Opinion Date : 08/01/2006
e-Journal Date : 08/03/2006
Court : Michigan Court of Appeals
Case Name : Michigan Educ. Ass’n v. Superintendent of Pub. Instruction
Practice Area(s) : School Law Constitutional Law
Judge(s) : Donofrio, O’Connell, and Servitto
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Constitutional standing to challenge a community college’s authority to authorize “public school academies” (charter schools); National Wildlife Fed’n v. Cleveland Cliffs Iron Co.; Lee v. Macomb County Bd. of Comm’rs; Statutorily conferred standing; Federated Ins. Co. v. Oakland County Rd. Comm’n; Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation v. Nestle Waters N. Am., Inc.; Const. 1963, art. 8, § 2; MCL 600.2041(3); MCR 2.201(B)(4)


The court dismissed the appeal for lack of standing because plaintiff had no claim of an actual particularized injury. The case involved a challenge to the authority of Bay Mills Community College (BMCC) to authorize “Public School Academies” (charter schools). Plaintiff represented approximately 136,000 members throughout Michigan, including about 70,000 grade K-12 instructors. Defendants argued plaintiff did not meet the constitutional test required for standing and the Legislature may not statutorily confer standing on a party that does not otherwise meet the constitutional requirements of standing. Plaintiff argued as a domestic non-profit organization challenging the illegal expenditure of state funds, it had statutorily-granted standing to institute the suit. Plaintiff neither alleged nor suffered the required “injury in fact.” Plaintiff presented no evidence it suffered an invasion of a legally recognized interest that was actual or imminent, not hypothetical or conjectural. Plaintiff provided nothing more than the simple assertion the BMCC’s public funding reduced plaintiff’s members’ wages without any supporting evidence. Plaintiff also provided no substantive evidence the alleged harm could even be “redressed by a favorable decision.” The court did not reach the substantive issue of whether the public academies BMCC had chartered were considered public schools and were eligible for public funding. Since plaintiff lacked constitutional standing, the court held to the extent MCL 600.2041(3) and MCR 2.201(B)(4) confer standing broader than the limits imposed by the Michigan Constitution, as determined by Lee and National Wildlife, they were unconstitutional.

Full PDF Opinion