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Franczek Radelet Attorneys Secure Settlement Victory for School District Clients

August 3, 2009
Champaign, IL

After more than a decade of litigation, the Champaign Community Unit School District #4 Board of Education in Champaign, Illinois approved a Settlement Agreement that ended a voluntary federal Consent Decree. The Consent Decree stems from complaints filed with the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) by African-American Plaintiffs in 1996, which alleged racial discrimination by the District. The Consent Decree by its terms set an expiration date of June 30, 2009, but Plaintiffs’ Counsel filed motions to extend the Decree in three areas. The decree was terminated on July 15, 2009 for all areas other than the three for which Plaintiffs sought an extension. A hearing in Judge Joe Billy McDade’s courtroom in Peoria had been set for August 3 to hear the motion on the motion to extend.

Settling the issue prior to a court hearing saves legal fees associated with the hearing and a possible appeal, as well as eliminates the option of any further action to extend the Consent Decree. “Settling this issue is positive for our entire community,” said Superintendent Arthur Culver. “Court involvement is not necessary to ensure that we are doing what is right. We agree wholeheartedly with the terms of the settlement, which reflects best practice and transparency.  Our staff, our Board, and our community have shown their commitment to the goals of the Consent Decree, and we will not be turning the clock back and losing the lessons that we have learned in the past seven years. Instead, we will be using these lessons as we continue to prove that our diverse school district, which is a microcosm of our country, can ensure high academic achievement for every student who comes through our doors.”

The case was defended by Sally J. Scott, John A. Relias, and Jennifer A. Smith.