DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) The Des Moines school district has refused to comply with an order from Gov. Kim Reynolds to reopen several campuses in the Des Moines and Coralville areas.
A federal judge on Tuesday issued a temporary restraining order blocking the city from continuing to shutter early- and second-grade schools in the schools on Boone Street, southeast of Des Moines.
Reynolds’ office issued the restraining order after a federal judge earlier on Tuesday found District Administrative Judge Ernie Biesty did not comply with state law when he sent an order directing school closures and the end of operations on Thursday.A spokesman for Reynolds said the governor “will await the court’s decision as to the appropriate next steps.”
Reynolds ordered state lawmakers in 2016 to close all 48 after-school programs in Des Moines and Derby by the middle of the year, though the state’s intermediate school district and other organizations have shuttered several facilities.
While many of the early- and second-grade programs would have been cleaned out, officials are keeping a few remaining buildings open to serve students with disabilities.
A co-plaintiff in the litigation, Sandra Price, says the district refused to replace stolen electronic devices as part of a federal consent decree, made possible by a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice, plus shut down instruction at St. Mary’s Elementary School, Mercy Community School and Valley Heights Middle School.
The state contends it first closed the schools in 2015, but Price says that school officials promised a cleanup after reopening.