Arkansas Department of Education v. McCoy (Majority, with Concurring and Dissenting)Annotate this Case
The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the circuit court denying the motion to dismiss this action against the Arkansas Department of Education, members of the Arkansas State Board of Education, and the Commissioner of Education (collectively, the State Board), holding that the circuit court correctly denied sovereign immunity on the constitutional delegation of authority claim.
Several parents and grandparents of students in the Little Rock School District brought this lawsuit challenging the State Board's continued control of LRSD through limitations placed on a new school board. The State Board filed a motion to dismiss based on sovereign immunity and lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The circuit court denied the motion to dismiss. The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part, holding (1) the circuit court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over Plaintiffs' Administrative Procedure Act claim; (2) Plaintiffs failed to sufficiently plead an illegal-acts or ultra vires exception to sovereign immunity under Ark. Code Ann. 6-15-2917(c); and (3) the circuit court properly denied sovereign immunity on Plaintiffs' constitutional delegation of authority claim because the sufficiently pled challenge to the constitutionality of Ark. Code Ann. 6-15-2916 and -2917 overcame sovereign immunity.