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PAMELA HILL v. SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT AREA SCHOOL DISTRICT (06/03/81)

decided: June 3, 1981.

PAMELA HILL, INDIVIDUALLY AND ON BEHALF OF ALL THOSE SIMILARLY SITUATED, APPELLANT
v.
SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT AREA SCHOOL DISTRICT, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Lycoming County in case of Pamela Hill, individually and on behalf of all those similarly situated v. South Williamsport School District, No. 80-0133, Class Action.

COUNSEL

Richard A. Gahr, Kieser and Gahr, with him W. David Marcello, Smith, Marcello & Lepley, for appellant.

John R. Bonner, Casale & Bonner, for appellee.

Nancy K. Matlowski, Assistant Attorney General, for Amicus Curiae, Pennsylvania Department of Education, in support of appellant.

Harvey Freedenberg, with him Francis B. Haas, Jr., McNees, Wallace & Nurick, for Amicus Curiae, Pennsylvania Association of Colleges and Universities, in support of appellant.

D. Barry Gibbons, Gibbons, Buckley, Smith, Palmer and Proud, for Amicus Curiae, Commission for Community Colleges, in support of appellant.

Nathan W. Stuart, Stuart, Murphy, Smith, Mussina, Harris & Rieders, for Amicus Curiae, Williamsport Area Community College, in support of appellant.

Judges Mencer, Craig and Palladino, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Craig.

Author: Craig

[ 59 Pa. Commw. Page 453]

Appellant Pamela Hill, individually and on behalf of over one hundred other students attending Williamsport Area Community College, appeals an order by the Court of Common Pleas of Lycoming County which dismissed her exceptions and entered a final order confirming the decree nisi in favor of South Williamsport Area School District (SWASD).

Appellant instituted the class action claim in January of 1980 to contest the legality of tuition charges imposed by SWASD upon community college students residing in that district.

In 1965 the State Board of Education had approved a plan submitted by a group of school districts -- not then including SWASD -- for the formation of the community college; the districts entered into articles of agreement which delineated the college's administrative and fiscal procedure. In addition, the districts adopted "Resolutions constituting such districts as Local Sponsor of [the] Community College," pursuant to the provisions of the Community College Act of 1963 (Act).*fn1

On September 8, 1969, SWASD by resolution adopted the agreement and thereby, according to a stipulation of the parties, became "one of twenty (20) school districts which ...


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