Christopher Verde is officially dead, but a lawsuit filed late last week could resuscitate north Scottsdale’s school district without schools.
The Christopher Verde Unified School District was officially dissolved and drawn into the boundaries of the Cave Creek Unified School District on Tuesday, said Ted Carpenter, deputy superintendent in Maricopa County Schools Superintendent Sandra Dowling’s office.
But a group of north Scottsdale residents filed a lawsuit Friday against Dowling and the state, claiming the law that quashed the new school district is unconstitutional.
Mandated by law last year to form a new district or join an existing one, the Troon and Rio Verde areas in the north East Valley voted to form Christopher Verde, a district that would pay to bus its more than 550 students to other areas instead of building its own schools.
But SB1164, which was signed into law in July, prevents districts from transporting more than 350 students to another district for classes.
Citizens for a Unified School District, the group that originally proposed forming the school district without schools, claims in the suit that SB1164 violates voters’ rights because residents in the area get no say on whether to combine the two districts.
The suit also says the law specifically targets Christopher Verde.
While there are nine other transportation districts around the state, each has less than 50 students and won’t be affected by the law, according to the suit.
Pat Flynn, chairman of Citizens for a Unified School District, said the group has decided not to comment while the case is in court.
But in a July 11 e-mail to district residents, the group called the new law a “blatant legislative attack.”