Blind school wins against government overreach

By Tyler Smith,

SALEM, OR, MARCH 11, 2010: Supporters of the Oregon School for the Blind and the Oregon School for the Deaf can celebrate a five to ten million dollar victory today. Governor Kulongoski signed House Bill 3687 today which marks a major victory for the former Oregon School for the Blind students who sued the State over its 2009 plan to shut down the school and take the proceeds.

Common Sense for Oregon, a non-profit, good governance advocacy group, came to the assistance of the cause. Five descendents, two former students, and one former faculty member sued the Department of Education in August alleging that the property where the Oregon School for the Blind sits was donated into trust, and therefore the State had no legal capacity to sell the property and take the proceeds.
More lawsuits were set to follow. However HB 3687 keeps half the proceeds from the sale of that property in Trust in the newly created Blind and Visually Impaired Fund, and the other half will go toward capital improvements and maintenance at the School for the Deaf.

Tyler Smith, the Canby attorney for the Plaintiffs to those lawsuits says he “expects that this new law will probably eliminate the need for the current lawsuits and make the cases moot”.