The opinion of the court was delivered by: TEITELBAUM
This is an action brought pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1343(3). The plaintiff, a school district, seeks redress for what it alleges was a denial of due process of law in violation of the 14th Amendment. Specifically, the plaintiff claims that the proceedings of the defendants, county and state school boards, pursuant to a Pennsylvania state statute regarding the reorganization of school districts were conducted so as to deny the plaintiff, an affected party, an opportunity to be heard. The limited question which this action presents is whether or not the plaintiff has been denied procedural due process as it claims. We are not confronted with the plaintiff's standing as a "person" under § 1343(3) since this was not raised by the defendants, and consequently we reach no conclusion on that issue.
We find the plaintiff's position untenable. In School District of West Homestead v. Allegheny County Board of School Directors, 440 Pa. 113, 269 A. 2d 904 (1970), a related proceeding, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania read the Act as providing,
"* * * a comprehensive and constitutionally adequate procedure which is the exclusive procedure available to a school district which considers itself aggrieved by the actions of the County and State Boards."
The failure of the plaintiff to take advantage of that procedure was its choice. An opportunity to be heard was afforded by both the State Board and the Court of Common Pleas but was declined. The Act does not direct the County Board to file findings of facts and conclusions of law. Nor does it specify the kind or duration of the proceedings which the County Board must conduct in preparing its plan. Further, the County Board's plan is in the nature of a recommendation which the State Board is free to review and either accept or reject. Any misgivings which the plaintiff may have had regarding the proceedings before the County Board should have been raised with the State Board. In these circumstances, the plaintiff can not legitimately claim that it has been denied an opportunity to be heard.
All of this assumes that the plaintiff has an abstract right to be heard. That he does is doubtful. The discretion to reorganize school districts is one that rests peculiarly with the duly constituted State governing bodies. The State is entrusted with the duty to provide for the education of its school age citizens and, administratively, the manner in which that duty is discharged is neither conditioned upon prior consultation with its created agencies nor contingent upon subsequent approval by the Federal courts. As stated by the Supreme Court in Epperson v. Arkansas, 393 U.S. 97, 104, 89 S. Ct. 266, 270, 21 L. Ed. 2d 228 (1968):
"By and large, public education in our Nation is committed to the control of state and local authorities. Courts do not and cannot intervene in the resolution of conflicts which arise in the daily operation of school systems and which do not directly and sharply implicate basic constitutional values."
We conclude that the plaintiff has not been denied due process of law in violation of the 14th Amendment and that therefore its complaint must be dismissed with ...