RASK represents client in preventing closure of county schools.

Case

On behalf of the parents of the Suure-Jaani community, RASK filed an action with the administrative court, applying for the annulment of the decision of the council of Suure-Jaani rural municipality to progressively close the basic schools of Tääksi, Kildu and Sürgavere.

The dispute focused on the scope to which the rural municipality should involve local communities in the decision-making process, and also, which facts and criteria must be taken into account and analysed by rural municipalities in carrying out education reform.

On 14 April 2014, the administrative court satisfied RASK’s application for interim relief and suspended the validity of the decision for the duration of the proceedings.

On 15 May 2014, the Tartu Circuit Court dismissed the appeal by Suure-Jaani rural municipality and the interim relief measure applied by the administrative court on 14 April 2014 remained in force.

On 16 June 2014, the court approved the compromise, according to which three schools shall remain operating with 9 classes for the 2014/2015 academic year, the representatives of the parents of the three schools shall be involved in the work of the education and culture commission of the rural municipality, and the preservation of at least a 6-grade school close to home shall be ensured until 2018.

The court found that closing schools is a decision that affects the local community and the rural municipality must substantially involve local communities in the process of making such comprehensive decisions.