As a founder, former board chairman and parent of a Riverview Charter School student, I found the decision in the school's dispute with the Beaufort County district vindicating.
But as a taxpayer in this county for more than a decade, I was dismayed by the ridiculous level of fiscal waste it required.
When a federal judge describes a case as "basic contract law" in his ruling, you must believe that reasonable people might have found a solution out of court. The school did attempt to offer a compromise last February, one that would have made the 2011 lottery process speedier, avoided the legal system and meant a mere 19 more students per year than the district's claimed "cap."
Instead, the district refused, forced the school to seek clarity at circuit court, removed the trial to federal court and then brought three attorneys to trial (including firm partner Kenneth Childs himself) to defend its side.
Riverview surely used much of this year's $20,000 legal services budget line item on this case. I could only speculate how much the school district spent on its attorneys, staying overnight in Charleston for the trial. But considering that my tax dollars were spent not only for my child's school's side, but also the school district's side, I have a simple but stern request: Please stop wasting our taxes on legal boondoggles with one of your own schools. My kindergartner can tell you that integrity is "doing the right thing, even when nobody is watching."