JUSTICE WHITE delivered the opinion of the Court.
In this case, we consider the claims of school officials and schoolchildren in 23 northern Mississippi counties that they
The history of public school lands in the United States stretches back over 200 years.
Following the Ohio example of reserving lands for the maintenance of public schools, " `grants were made for common school purposes to each of the public-land States admitted to the Union. Between the years of 1802 and 1846 the grants were of every section sixteen, and, thereafter, of sections sixteen and thirty-six. In some instances, additional sections have been granted.' " Andrus v. Utah, 446 U.S. 500, 506-507, n. 7 (1980) (quoting United States v. Morrison, 240 U.S. 192, 198 (1916) (footnotes omitted)). Thus, the basic Ohio example has been followed with respect to all but a few of the States admitted since then. 446 U. S., at 522-523, n. 4 (POWELL, J., dissenting). In addition to the school lands designated in this manner, Congress made provision for townships in which the pertinent section or sections were not available for one reason or another. Thus, Congress generally indemnified States for the missing designated sections, allowing the States to select lands in an amount equal to and in lieu of the designated but unavailable lands. See, e. g., ch. 83, 4 Stat. 179 (1826). See generally Andrus v. Utah, supra, at 507-508; Morrison, supra, at 200-202.
The history of the school lands grants in Mississippi generally follows the pattern thus described. In 1798, Congress created the Mississippi Territory, which included what is now about the southern third of the States of Mississippi and Alabama.
By their own terms, however, these Acts did not apply to the lands in northern Mississippi that were held by the Chickasaw Indian Nation, an area essentially comprising what came to be the northern 23 counties in the State. This land was held by the Chickasaws until 1832, when it was ceded to the United States by the Treaty of Pontiac Creek. 7 Stat. 381. Although that Treaty provided that the land would be surveyed and sold "in the same manner and on the same terms and conditions as the other public lands," id., at 382, no Sixteenth Section lands were reserved from sale. City of Corinth v. Robertson, 125 Miss. 31, 57, 87 So. 464, 465-466 (1921). In 1836, Congress attempted to remedy this oversight by providing for the reservation of lands in lieu of the Sixteenth Section lands and for the vesting of the title to
From these historical circumstances, the current practice in Mississippi with regard to Sixteenth Section lands has evolved directly. Under state law, these lands, which are still apparently held in large part by the State, "constitute property held in trust for the benefit of the public schools and must be treated as such." Miss. Code Ann. § 29-3-1(1) (Supp. 1985). In providing for the operation of these trusts, the legislature has retained the historical tie of these lands to particular townships in terms of both trust administration and beneficiary status. Thus, the State has delegated the management of this property to local school boards throughout the State: Where Sixteenth Section lands lie within a school district or where Lieu Lands were originally appropriated for a township that lies within a school district, the board of education of that district has "control and jurisdiction of said school trust lands and of all funds arising from any disposition thereof heretofore or hereafter made." Ibid. In this respect, the board of education is "under the general supervision of the state land commissioner." Ibid.
Consequently, all proceeds from Sixteenth Section and Lieu Lands are allocated directly to the specific township in which these lands are located or to which those lands apply. With respect to the Chickasaw Cession counties, to which no lands now belong, the state legislature has for over 100 years paid "interest" on the lost principal acquired from the sale of those lands in the form of annual appropriations to the Chickasaw Cession schools. Originally, the rate was 8%, but since 1890 the rate has been 6%. See Miss. Const., Art. 8, § 212. The annual amount until 1985 was $62,191. App. 37.
The result of this dual treatment has for many years been a disparity in the level of school funds from Sixteenth Section lands that are available to the Chickasaw Cession schools as compared to the schools in the remainder of the State. In 1984, for example, the legislative appropriation for the Chickasaw Cession resulted in an estimated average per pupil income relative to the Sixteenth Section substitute appropriation of $0.63 per pupil. The average Sixteenth Section income in the rest of the State, in comparison, was estimated to be $75.34 per pupil. Id., at 44.
Based on these allegations, the petitioners sought various forms of relief for breach of the trust regarding the Chickasaw Cession Sixteenth Section lands and for denial of equal protection.
The District Court dismissed the complaint, holding the claims barred by the applicable statute of limitations and by the Eleventh Amendment to the United States Constitution. The Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed, Papasan v. United States, 756 F.2d 1087 (1985), agreeing that the relief requested in the complaint was barred by the Eleventh Amendment. Nothing that a federal court should not dismiss a constitutional complaint because it "seeks one remedy rather than another plainly appropriate one," Holt Civic Club v. Tuscaloosa, 439 U.S. 60, 65 (1978), however, the Court of Appeals deemed the equal protection claim to assert a current, ongoing, and disparate distribution of state funds for the support of local schools, the remedy for which would not be barred by the Eleventh Amendment. Even so, it found dismissal of the complaint to be proper since such differential funding was not unconstitutional under this Court's decision in San Antonio Independent School Dist. v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 1 (1973).
We granted certiorari, 474 U.S. 1004 (1985), and now vacate the judgment of the Court of Appeals and remand for further proceedings.
We first consider whether the Eleventh Amendment bars the petitioner's claims and required dismissal of the complaint.
The Amendment provides:
This language expressly encompasses only suits brought against a State by citizens of another State, but this Court long ago held that the Amendment bars suits against a State by citizens of that same State as well. See Hans v. Louisiana, 134 U.S. 1 (1890). "[I]n the absence of consent a suit in which the State or one of its agencies or departments is named as the defendant is proscribed by the Eleventh Amendment." Pennhurst State School and Hospital v. Halderman, 465 U.S. 89, 100 (1984).
Where the State itself or one of its agencies or departments is not named as defendant and where a state official is named instead, the Eleventh Amendment status of the suit is less straightforward. Ex parte Young, 209 U.S. 123 (1908), held that a suit to enjoin as unconstitutional a state official's action was not barred by the Amendment. This holding was based on a determination that an unconstitutional state enactment is void and that any action by a state official that is purportedly authorized by that enactment cannot be taken in an official capacity since the state authorization for such action is a nullity. As the Court explained in Young itself:
Thus, the official, although acting in his official capacity, may be sued in federal court. See also Pennhurst, supra, at 102, 105; Hutto v. Finney, 437 U.S. 678, 692 (1978).
Young, however, does not insulate from Eleventh Amendment challenge every suit in which a state official is the named defendant. In accordance with its original rationale, Young applies only where the underlying authorization upon which the named official acts is asserted to be illegal. See Cory v. White, 457 U.S. 85 (1982). And it does not foreclose an Eleventh Amendment challenge where the official action is asserted to be illegal as a matter of state law alone. See Pennhurst, supra, at 104-106. In such a case, federal supremacy is not implicated because the state official is acting contrary to state law only.
We have also described certain types of cases that formally meet the Young requirements of a state official acting inconsistently with federal law but that stretch that case too far and would upset the balance of federal and state interests that it embodies. Young's applicability has been tailored to conform as precisely as possible to those specific situations in which it is "necessary to permit the federal courts to vindicate federal rights and hold state officials responsible to `the supreme authority of the United States.' " Pennhurst, supra, at 105 (quoting Young, supra, at 160). Consequently, Young has been focused on cases in which a violation of federal law by a state official is ongoing as opposed to cases in which federal
Relief that in essence serves to compensate a party injured in the past by an action of a state official in his official capacity that was illegal under federal law is barred even when the state official is the named defendant.
For Eleventh Amendment purposes, the line between permitted and prohibited suits will often be indistinct: "[T]he difference between the type of relief barred by the Eleventh Amendment and that permitted under Ex parte Young will not in many instances be that between day and night." Edelman, supra, at 667. Compare, e. g., Quern v. Jordan, 440 U.S. 332
The petitioners claim that the federal grants of school lands to the State of Mississippi created a perpetual trust, with the State as trustee, for the benefit of the public schools. Relying on Alamo Land & Cattle Co. v. Arizona, 424 U.S. 295 (1976), and Lassen v. Arizona ex rel. Arizona Highway Dept., 385 U.S. 458 (1967), the petitioners contend that "[s]chool lands trusts impose specific burdens and obligations on the states, as well as the state officials who act as trustees, which include preserving the corpus, maximizing income, and, where the corpus is lost or converted wrongfully, continuing the payment of appropriate income indefinitely." Brief for Petitioners 13. The idea that this last obligation exists is gleaned not from any prior judicial construction of school lands grants but instead from alleged federal common-law rules that purportedly govern such trusts. The petitioners rely on this asserted continuing obligation in contending that they seek only a prospective, injunctive remedy, permissible under Ex parte Young, requiring state officials to meet that continuing federal obligation by providing the Chickasaw Cession schools with appropriate trust income.
To begin with, it is not at all clear that the school lands grants to Mississippi created a binding trust. The respondents, in fact, contend that the school lands were given to the State in fee simple absolute and that no binding federal obligation was imposed. See Alabama v. Schmidt, 232 U.S. 168 (1914); Cooper v. Roberts, 18 How. 173 (1856).
The characterization in that case of the legal wrong as the continuing withholding of accrued benefits is very similar to the petitioners' characterization of the legal wrong here as the breach of a continuing obligation to comply with the trust
The Court of Appeals held, however, that the petitioners' equal protection claim was not barred by the Eleventh Amendment. We agree with that ruling. The complaint asserted:
The petitioners also alleged that these same actions denied them "their rights to an interest in a minimally adequate level of education, or reasonable opportunity therefore," id., at 21, while assuring such right to the other schoolchildren in the State. Thus the complaint alleged a present disparity in the distribution of the benefits from the State's Sixteenth Section lands.
This alleged ongoing constitutional violation — the unequal distribution by the State of the benefits of the State's school lands — is precisely the type of continuing violation for which a remedy may permissibly be fashioned under Young. It may be that the current disparity results directly from the same actions in the past that are the subject of the petitioners' trust claims, but the essence of the equal protection allegation is the present disparity in the distribution of the benefits of state-held assets and not the past actions of the State. A remedy to eliminate this current disparity, even a remedy that might require the expenditure of state funds, would ensure " `compliance in the future with a substantive federal-question determination' " rather than bestow an award for accrued monetary liability. Milliken, supra, at 289 (quoting Edelman, supra, at 668). This claim is, in fact, in all essential respects the same as the equal protection claim for which relief was approved in Milliken. Consequently, we agree with the Court of Appeals that the Eleventh Amendment would not bar relief necessary to correct a current violation of the Equal Protection Clause and that this claim may not properly be dismissed on this basis.
The question remains whether the petitioners' equal protection claim, although not barred by the Eleventh Amendment, is legally insufficient and was properly dismissed for failure to state a claim. See Fed. Rule Civ. Proc. 12(b)(6). We are bound for the purposes of this review to take the well-pleaded factual allegations in the complaint as true. Miree v. DeKalb County, 433 U.S. 25 (1977); Kugler v. Helfant, 421 U.S. 117 (1975); Scheuer v. Rhodes, 416 U.S. 232 (1974); Cruz v. Beto, 405 U.S. 319 (1972); Gardner v. Toilet Goods Assn., 387 U.S. 167 (1957). Construing these facts and relevant facts obtained from the public record in the light most favorable to the petitioners, we must ascertain whether they state a claim on which relief could be granted.
In Rodriguez, the Court upheld against an equal protection challenge Texas' system of financing its public schools, under which funds for the public schools were derived from two main sources. Approximately half of the funds came from the Texas Minimum Foundation School Program, a state program aimed at guaranteeing a certain level of minimum education for all children in the State. 411 U. S., at 9. Most of the remainder of the funds came from local sources — in particular local property taxes. Id., at 9, n. 21. As a result of this dual funding system, most specifically as a result of differences in amounts collected from local property taxes, "substantial inter district disparities in school expenditures [were] found . . . in varying degrees throughout the State." Id., at 15.
In examining the equal protection status of these disparities, the Court declined to apply any heightened scrutiny
Applying this standard, the dual Texas system was deemed reasonably structured to accommodate two separate forces:
Given this rational basis, the Court concluded that the mere "happenstance" that the quality of education might vary from district to district because of varying property values within the districts did not render the system "so irrational as to be invidiously discriminatory." 411 U. S., at 55. In particular, the Court found that "any scheme of local taxation — indeed the very existence of identifiable local governmental units — requires the establishment of jurisdictional boundaries that are inevitably arbitrary." Id., at 53-54.
Almost 10 years later, the Court again considered the equal protection status of the administration of the Taxes public schools — this time in relation to the State's decision not to expend any state funds on the education of children who were not "legally admitted" to the United States. Plyler v. Doe, 457 U.S. 202 (1982). The Court did not, however, measurably change the approach articulated in Rodriguez. It reiterated that education is not a fundamental right and concluded that undocumented aliens were not a suspect class. 457 U. S., at 223-224. Nevertheless, it concluded that the justifications for the discrimination offered by the State were "wholly insubstantial in light of the costs involved to these children, the State, and the Nation." Id., at 230.
The complaint in this case asserted not simply that the petitioners had been denied their right to a minimally adequate education but also that such a right was fundamental and that because that right had been infringed the State's action here should be reviewed under strict scrutiny. App. 20. As Rodriguez and Plyler indicate, this Court has not yet definitively settled the questions whether a minimally adequate education is a fundamental right and whether a statute alleged to discriminatorily infringe that right should be accorded heightened equal protection review.
Concentrating instead on the disparities in terms of Sixteenth Section lands benefits that the complaint in fact alleged and that are documented in the public record, we are persuaded that the Court of Appeals properly determined that Rodriguez dictates the applicable standard of review. The differential treatment alleged here constitutes an equal protection violation only if it is not rationally related to a legitimate state interest.
Applying this test, the Court of Appeals concluded that, historical roots aside, the essence of the petitioners' claim was an attack on Mississippi's system of financing public education. And it reasoned that the inevitability of disparities in income derived from real estate managed and administered locally, as in Rodriguez, supplied a rationale for the disparities alleged. To begin with, we disagree with the Court of Appeals' apparent understanding of the crux of the petitioners' claim. As we read their complaint, the petitioners do
Consequently, this is a very different claim than the claim made in Rodriguez. In Rodriguez, the contention was that the State's overall system of funding was unconstitutionally discriminatory. There, the Court examined the basic structure of that system and concluded that it was rationally related to a legitimate state purpose. In reaching that conclusion, the Court necessarily found that funding disparities resulting from differences in local taxes were acceptable because related to the state goal of allowing a measure of effective local control over school funding levels. Rodriguez did not, however, purport to validate all funding variations that might result from a State's public school funding decisions. It held merely that the variations that resulted from allowing local control over local property tax funding of the public schools were constitutionally permissible in that case.
Here, the petitioners' claim goes neither to the overall funding system nor to the local ad valorem component of that system. Instead, it goes solely to the Sixteenth Section and Lieu Lands portion of the State's public school funding. And, as to this claim, we are unpersuaded that Rodriguez resolves the equal protection question in favor of the State. The allegations of the complaint are that the State is distributing
A crucial consideration in resolving this issue is whether the federal law requires the State to allocate the economic benefits of school lands to schools in the townships in which those lands are located. If, as a matter of federal law, the State has no choice in the matter, whether the complaint states an equal protection claim depends on whether the federal policy is itself violative of the Clause. If it is, the State may properly be enjoined from implementing such policy. Contrariwise, if the federal law is valid and the State is bound by it, then it provides a rational reason for the funding disparity. Neither the courts below nor the parties have addressed the equal protection issue in these terms.
Accordingly, the judgment of the Court of Appeals is affirmed insofar as it affirmed the dismissal of petitioners' breach of trust and related claims. With respect to the affirmance of the District Court's dismissal of the equal protection claim, the judgment of the Court of Appeals is vacated, and the case is remanded to that court for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.
JUSTICE BRENNAN, with whom JUSTICE MARSHALL, JUSTICE BLACKMUN, and JUSTICE STEVENS join, concurring in part, concurring in the judgment in part, and dissenting in part.
Although I join Parts I and III of the Court's opinion and agree with the result in Part II-C, I do not join Parts II-A and II-B for the reasons stated in my dissent in Atascadero State Hospital v. Scanlon, 473 U.S. 234, 258-302 (1985) (BRENNAN, J., dissenting).
The Court makes a valiant effort to set forth the principles that determine whether a particular claim is or is not barred by the Eleventh Amendment. See ante, at 276-279. To my mind, the Court's restatement simply underscores the implausibility of the entire venture, for it clearly demonstrates that the Court's Eleventh Amendment jurisprudence consists of little more than a number of ad hoc and unmanageable rules bearing little or no relation to one another or to any coherent framework; indeed, the Court's best efforts to impose order on the cases in this area has produced only the conclusion that "[f]or Eleventh Amendment purposes, the line between permitted and prohibited suits will often be indistinct," ante, at 278. This hodgepodge produces no positive benefits to society. Its only effect is to impair or prevent effective enforcement of federal law. It is highly unlikely that, having created a system in which federal law was to be supreme, the Framers of the Constitution or of the Eleventh
The magnitude of the Court's mistake has only been increased by changes that have taken place in our law and our society since Hans v. Louisiana, 134 U.S. 1 (1890), took the first step down this ill-advised path, for the National Government and federal law play a much more important role in protecting the rights of individuals today. Only stare decisis can support the Court's continued adherence to this unfortunate doctrine. Stare decisis is indeed a force to be reckoned with — although the Court has not felt itself particularly constrained by stare decisis in expanding the protective mantle of sovereign immunity, see Pennhurst State School & Hospital v. Halderman, 465 U.S. 89, 165-166, n. 50 (1984) (STEVENS, J., dissenting); Atascadero State Hospital v. Scanlon, supra, at 304 (STEVENS, J., dissenting). However, as Chief Justice Taney observed, the authority of the Court's construction of the Constitution ultimately "depend[s] altogether on the force of the reasoning by which it is supported." Passenger Cases, 7 How. 283, 470 (1849) (dissenting opinion). The Court's Eleventh Amendment jurisprudence is not supported by history or by sound legal reasoning; it is simply bad law. In matters of such great institutional importance as this, stare decisis must yield.
JUSTICE BLACKMUN, concurring in part and dissenting in part.
The Court today holds that petitioners' breach of trust claims are barred by the Eleventh Amendment. I cannot agree. Petitioners claim that Mississippi breached legal obligations placed on it by federal law. I agree with JUSTICE BRENNAN that the Eleventh Amendment was never intended to bar such suits. Ante, at 292-293 (BRENNAN, J., concurring in part, concurring in judgment in part, and dissenting in part). But even if the Eleventh Amendment normally would
The very Enabling Act that gave Mississippi the benefits of statehood, including the protections afforded by the Eleventh Amendment, expressly incorporated the Northwest Ordinance of 1789, which required the reservation of Sixteenth-Section lands for the benefit of public education. See Act of Mar. 1, 1817, 3 Stat. 348, 349. And the Act giving Mississippi the Chickasaw Cession Lieu Lands expressly provided that those lands be held "upon the same terms and conditions, in all respects, as the said State now holds the lands heretofore reserved for the use of schools in said State." Act of July 4, 1836, § 2, 5 Stat. 116.
Neither the District Court nor the Court of Appeals addressed the nature of the conditions the Federal Government placed upon Mississippi's use of the Lieu Lands. But, as the Court notes in discussing petitioners' equal protection claims, the Federal Government may have intended to bind Mississippi to use the lands solely to benefit the schoolchildren of the particular township to which the school lands were originally attached. Ante, at 287-289, and n. 16. Moreover, Mississippi apparently has concluded, as a matter of state law, that school lands "constitute property held in trust for the benefit of the public schools and must be treated as such." Miss. Code Ann. § 29-3-1(1) (Supp. 1985). Thus, a fuller consideration of the actual terms on which the Federal Government conveyed the Lieu Lands to Mississippi might reveal that the State waived its immunity from suit.
If the Federal Government intended to impress a trust upon the Lieu Lands with the State as trustee and the Chickasaw Cession schoolchildren as the beneficiaries, those children should have a right of action against the State for breach of its fiduciary duty. As the Court recognizes, damages are the proper remedy for a breach of fiduciary duty when the corpus of a trust has been entirely lost. See ante, at 280-281. Thus, for the reasons expressed by JUSTICE MARSHALL in Edelman v. Jordan, 415 U. S., at 691-692, I believe that petitioners would be entitled to damages if they proved at trial the breach of trust they have alleged. I therefore would reverse the Court of Appeals' dismissal of petitioners' trust-based claims and remand this issue for fuller consideration.
JUSTICE POWELL, with whom THE CHIEF JUSTICE and JUSTICE REHNQUIST join, concurring in part and dissenting in part.
The public record refutes petitioners' equal protection claims that the disparities in funding from various school lands detrimentally affects students and schools in school districts
A brief procedural history is helpful in putting this litigation in perspective. Petitioners include a group of county school boards, superintendents of education, and individual schoolchildren, all residing in the Chickasaw Cession counties in north Mississippi. In June 1981, petitioners sued numerous federal and state officials, attacking the difference between, on the one hand, payments from Sixteenth Section lands in other school district (the Chocktaw area) and, on the other hand, payments from the State of Mississippi's trust fund to school districts within the Chickasaw Cession in place of income from the Chickasaw school lands.
The complaint recounted alleged "illegalities" as far back as the Northwest Territory Ordinance of 1785. It sought to have various federal statutes that "purport to authorize, validate or confirm" sales of the Sixteenth Section lands declared
The complaint also alleged that both the federal and state defendants had breached perpetual and binding obligations of "an express/constructive trust": the federal defendants by permitting the State to breach the trust through various statutes (e. g., the Northwest Territory Ordinance), and the state defendants by unlawfully selling the relevant properties and by ill-advisedly investing the proceeds of that sale. The complaint further alleged violations of due process by denial of "free appropriate public education" and — of relevance to the case as it stands before this Court — violations of equal protection by disparate distribution of certain funds and by infringement upon the "fundamental rights" of "a suspect class" to "a minimally adequate level of education." Finally, the complaint alleged impairment of obligation of contract and taking without just compensation.
Petitioners sought wide-ranging relief, including conveyance to them of properties or money of a value equivalent to that of the relevant school lands and compensation for the income from 1832 to present that petitioners "would have received. . . if such lands had been subjected to such prudent use and reasonable management." Petitioners also sought to obtain new lands as substitution for those lost, "which may include offshore oil, gas and other mineral rights." Petitioners additionally sought to "enjoin" and "direct" the defendants to establish "a fund or funds of such value" as was necessary to provide "hereafter" and "in perpetuity" annual income to Chickasaw Cession school districts. Finally, petitioners demanded that the defendants take other steps to "eliminate and compensate and for the future guarantee and protect Plaintiffs and the Plaintiff class against . . . denials
The District Court held that the claims against the Federal Government were barred by sovereign immunity, laches, and statutes of limitations. This order was not appealed. In a separate order, the District Court held that any monetary remedy was barred by the Eleventh Amendment — a holding affirmed by the Court of Appeals and by this Court today. I agree with this disposition. I also would not reach the issues raised by allegations of the denial of a "fundamental right" to "a minimally adequate education." See ante, at 285. I do not, however, agree with the Court's holding that petitioners' equal protection allegations regarding the disparate distribution of funds present a claim of sufficient substance to survive a motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6).
The Court begins the discussion of petitioners' equal protection claim, ante, at 283-292, by acknowledging that it is appropriate for the Court to take notice of "relevant facts obtained from the public record in the light most favorable to the petitioners." Ante, at 283. The most recent figures available
It is alleged — and here accepted as true — that there is a disparity between the payments from the Sixteenth Section lands in the Chocktaw districts and the payments from the State of Mississippi's trust fund to Chickasaw districts.
The Court does not question these data. It instead states that petitioners "have limited themselves to challenging discrimination in the Sixteenth Section" program, and, relying on that limitation, "decline[s] the dissent's invitation to look at school receipts overall." Ante, at 288-289, n. 17. The Court thereby ignores the undisputed facts concerning the
Table A in the Appendix to this opinion, "School Finances," shows that Chickasaw Cession school districts are in fact distributed throughout a financial ranking of all the State's school districts, whether the measure used is "Current Expenditure per Pupil," "Current Expenditure per Pupil for Instruction Cost," or "Current Expenditure per Pupil . . . Less Transportation." Specifically, the Table shows that the state-wide average per pupil expenditure was $1965.78, of which $1,261.09 went towards "instructional cost." All but 6 of the 39 school districts within the Chickasaw Cession districts spent within $300 of the per pupil average expenditure; all but two spent within $200 of the average per pupil instructional expenditure. The per pupil expenditure was over $1,400 in the Chickasaw district with the lowest per pupil expenditure, and over $2,400 in the Chickasaw district with the highest expenditure. In the light of these figures of expenditures per pupil, I cannot believe that $74.71 — the alleged difference between the average per pupil payment from Sixteenth Section lands and the average per pupil payment from the State's trust fund in place of the Chickasaw school lands — creates a "detriment" to the students and schools within the Chickasaw Cession and thereby gives rise to a violation of equal protection under the rational-relation standard.
Petitioners' equal protection claims cannot survive a motion under Federal Rule Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) in the light of the distribution of Chickasaw Cession districts throughout the statewide rankings of various expenditures per pupil and the insignificance of the Sixteenth Section funds relative to the total receipts for education. Accordingly, I dissent.
APPENDIX TO OPINION OF POWELL, J.
Average Average Average Current Current Current Expenditure Expenditure Expenditure per Pupil for per Pupil per Pupil Instruction in ADA Less in ADA Cost in ADA Transportation (1984-1985) (1984-1985) (1984-1985) ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ District Amount Rank Amount Rank Amount Rank ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Natchez Adams 2,131.22 33 1,253.67 73 2,018.70 31 Alcorn 1,694.89 132 1,270.49 63 1,585.03 129 Corinth 1,947.49 64 1,274.92 61 1,862.16 53 Amite 2,331.43 11 1,454.17 18 2,057.52 28 Attala 2,109.59 36 1,298.66 48 1,936.06 40 Kosciusko 1,877.64 88 1,104.12 139 1,727.96 90 Benton 2,121.78 35 1,338.89 38 1,952.98 38 Bolivar #1
*2,082.64 39 1,339.85 36 2,012.20 34 Bolivar #2 *2,769.62 4 1,804.24 2 2,699.23 3 Bolivar #3 *1,943.55 66 1,264.60 68 1,873.11 51 Bolivar #4 *1,793.43 110 1,182.67 106 1,722.98 91 Bolivar #5 *2,027.20 45 1,309.88 45 1,956.74 37 Bolivar #6 *1,657.08 136 1,173.85 116 1,586.61 128 Calhoun 1,770.32 115 1,119.18 95 1,656.17 111 Carroll 2,014.44 51 1,295.68 49 1,821.73 69 Chickasaw 2,158.73 29 1,438.50 21 1,901.76 47 Houston 1,797.93 108 1,233.84 80 1,681.46 105 Okolona 1,635.52 143 1,106.77 137 1,565.18 132 Choctaw 1,935.99 70 1,309.67 46 1,787.92 77 Claiborne 4,085.75 1 2,066.37 1 3,799.88 1 Enterprise *1,729.02 123 1,143.75 128 1,538.66 136 Quitman Cons. *1,813.05 106 1,129.16 133 1,622.30 120 Clay 2,307.56 13 1,482.73 13 2,161.68 13 West Point 1,844.88 97 1,198.97 96 1,733.96 89 Coahoma Cty. 2,414.77 10 1,514.98 6 2,236.92 10 Clarksdale 1,918.05 77 1,255.92 72 1,891.53 49 Copiah 2,168.89 28 1,162.03 122 2,064.60 25 Hazlehurst 1,771.68 114 1,190.21 99 1,660.59 110 Covington 1,912.97 79 1,290.85 50 1,782.63 79 Desoto 1,565.04 148 1,021.31 150 1,467.48 146
SCHOOL FINANCES — Continued
Average Average Average Current Current Current Expenditure Expenditure Expenditure per Pupil for per Pupil per Pupil Instruction in ADA Less in ADA Cost in ADA Transportation (1984-1985) (1984-1985) (1984-1985) ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ District Amount Rank Amount Rank Amount Rank ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Forrest 2,019.63 48 1,352.53 34 1,841.33 60 Hattiesburg 2,215.47 25 1,465.32 15 2,145.72 14 Petal 1,701.54 129 1,182.13 108 1,595.90 124 Franklin 2,298.67 15 1,514.75 7 2,121.11 21 George 1,474.78 153 982.08 152 1,341.92 154 Greene 2,056.05 42 1,278.69 58 1,834.67 65 Grenada 1,764.73 116 1,175.11 114 1,644.66 114 Hancock 1,750.66 119 1,011.95 151 1,566.13 131 Bay St. Louis 1,981.82 56 1,165.33 119 1,905.05 46 Harrison 1,860.89 92 1,264.10 69 1,758.84 83 Biloxi 2,251.56 18 1,411.45 24 2,163.00 12 Gulfport 2,496.19 8 1,457.45 17 2,433.81 7 Long Beach 1,920.58 74 1,257.30 71 1,843.01 59 Pass Christian 2,965.97 2 1,628.06 3 2,874.13 2 Hinds 1,918.64 76 1,215.27 87 1,796.81 73 Jackson 2,429.77 9 1,422.73 22 2,293.98 9 Clinton 1,813.93 105 1,178.70 110 1,702.73 101 Holmes 1,854.79 95 1,223.53 85 1,713.49 94 Durant 1,553.46 151 1,155.74 125 1,553.37 133 Humphreys 2,132.20 32 1,193.35 97 1,959.88 36 Itawamba 1,905.92 80 1,156.48 124 1,749.66 85 Jackson 2,243.31 20 1,364.81 33 2,113.99 23 Moss Point 1,878.90 87 1,249.54 75 1,796.95 71 Ocean Springs 1,920.67 73 1,269.80 64 1,852.01 58 Pascagoula 2,538.68 6 1,494.00 11 2,458.17 5 East Jasper
*2,010.43 52 1,265.89 66 1,836.99 64 West Jasper *1,866.24 89 1,244.61 79 1,693.61 103 Jefferson 2,066.22 41 1,351.06 35 1,861.66 54 Jefferson Davis 1,928.49 72 1,275.72 60 1,749.29 86 Jones 1,719.42 125 1,170.06 117 1,551.87 134 Laurel 2,639.67 5 1,590.71 4 2,581.89 4 Kemper 2,096.15 38 1,339.34 37 1,868.72 52 Lafayette 1,698.47 130 1,109.42 136 1,530.26 137 Oxford 2,226.94 24 1,514.00 8 2,118.55 22
SCHOOL FINANCES — Continued
Average Average Average Current Current Current Expenditure Expenditure Expenditure per Pupil for per Pupil per Pupil Instruction in ADA Less in ADA Cost in ADA Transportation (1984-1985) (1984-1985) (1984-1985) _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ District Amount Rank Amount Rank Amount Rank _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Lamar 1,506.98 152 971.37 153 1,382.92 153 Lumberton Line
*1,601.57 145 1,182.43 107 1,601.07 122 Lauderdale 1,641.60 138 1,084.88 143 1,485.10 143 Meridian 2,136.57 31 1,398.45 26 2,064.38 26 Lawrence 1,980.57 57 1,193.35 98 1,840.85 62 Leake 1,720.38 124 1,132.06 132 1,574.13 130 Lee 1,694.48 133 1,162.81 120 1,587.20 127 Nettleton Line *1,457.55 154 1,097.67 141 1,444.60 149 Tupelo 2,199.64 27 1,337.87 39 2,137.07 16 Leflore 2,148.73 30 1,384.79 29 2,022.71 30 Greenwood 2,245.93 19 1,459.97 16 2,215.51 11 Lincoln 1,590.44 146 1,076.05 145 1,441.20 150 Brookhaven 2,031.92 44 1,416.07 23 1,920.57 43 Lowndes 1,640.09 140 1,060.41 147 1,517.19 140 Columbus 2,106.33 37 1,383.49 30 2,018.05 33 Madison 2,125.62 34 1,301.47 47 1,912.65 45 Canton 1,697.55 131 1,213.84 90 1,639.48 117 Ridgeland 1,814.86 103 1,150.59 127 1,704.57 100 Marion 2,272.92 16 1,494.76 10 2,061.49 27 Columbia 2,240.43 23 1,448.23 19 2,132.43 18 Marshall 1,684.23 134 1,201.21 94 1,524.60 139 Holly Springs 1,975.64 59 1,232.12 82 1,860.84 55 Monroe 1,706.16 127 1,112.07 135 1,546.87 135 Aberdeen 1,890.98 83 1,245.80 78 1,796.93 72 Amory 1,840.11 98 1,283.43 53 1,764.71 81 Montgomery 2,022.40 47 1,213.96 89 1,856.00 57 Winona 2,005.07 53 1,401.42 25 1,945.24 39 Neshoba 1,638.19 141 1,162.39 121 1,502.41 141 Philadelphia 1,913.78 78 1,319.95 42 1,832.34 67 Newton 1,920.07 75 1,185.90 105 1,719.76 93 Newton Sep. 1,945.74 65 1,249.46 76 1,831.42 68 Union Sep. 1,740.87 121 1,143.63 129 1,646.80 113 Noxubee 1,939.99 69 1,289.94 51 1,749.23 87 Oktibbeha 1,897.03 82 1,337.68 40 1,759.97 82
SCHOOL FINANCES — Continued
Average Average Average Current Current Current Expenditure Expenditure Expenditure per Pupil for per Pupil per Pupil Instruction in ADA Less in ADA Cost in ADA Transportation (1984-1985) (1984-1985) (1984-1985) ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ District Amount Rank Amount Rank Amount Rank ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Starkville 1,965.92 62 1,252.02 74 1,879.25 50 North Panola
*1,864.61 90 1,215.43 86 1,705.72 99 South Panola *1,637.45 142 1,100.87 140 1,478.59 145 Pearl River 1,562.46 149 966.38 154 1,418.22 152 Picayune 1,752.85 118 1,190.01 101 1,672.13 106 Poplarville 1,862.97 91 1,190.15 100 1,707.74 96 Perry 2,311.91 12 1,371.84 31 2,111.50 24 Richton 1,886.43 85 1,174.43 115 1,719.79 92 North Pike *1,630.22 144 1,114.71 134 1,480.55 144 South Pike *1,858.62 94 1,265.60 67 1,707.35 98 McComb 1,941.21 68 1,223.67 84 1,858.82 56 Pontotoc 1,775.64 113 1,134.82 131 1,630.30 118 Pontotoc Sep. 1,643.80 137 1,064.43 146 1,461.72 147 Prentiss 1,884.35 86 1,316.58 43 1,756.40 84 Baldwyn 1,859.39 93 1,206.28 92 1,783.64 78 Booneville 1,887.23 84 1,282.05 55 1,792.72 74 Quitman 1,988.47 55 1,335.45 41 1,893.71 48 Rankin 1,556.15 150 1,043.08 148 1,427.91 151 Pearl 1,711.80 126 1,151.38 126 1,594.58 125 Scott 1,737.36 122 1,213.54 91 1,600.68 123 Forest 1,827.34 101 1,287.52 52 1,711.70 95 Anguilla Line *2,018.96 49 1,187.61 103 1,921.95 42 Sharkey Issaquena *2,016.35 50 1,246.07 77 1,841.20 61 Simpson 1,819.91 102 1,260.84 70 1,698.56 102 Smith 1,941.22 67 1,232.87 81 1,739.71 88 Stone 1,989.77 54 1,215.14 88 1,833.56 66 Sunflower 1,978.77 58 1,283.18 54 1,840.10 63 Drew 2,039.51 43 1,385.51 28 1,933.45 41 Indianola 1,640.99 139 1,178.18 111 1,589.70 126 E. Tallahatchie *1,928.67 71 1,273.27 62 1,788.65 76 W. Tallahatchie *1,847.13 96 1,269.31 65 1,707.58 97 Tate 1,786.61 112 1,176.14 112 1,648.01 112 Senatobia 1,743.53 120 1,189.10 102 1,671.48 107
SCHOOL FINANCES — Continued
Average Average Average Current Current Current Expenditure Expenditure Expenditure per Pupil for per Pupil per Pupil Instruction in ADA Less in ADA Cost in ADA Transportation (1984-1985) (1984-1985) (1984-1985) ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ District Amount Rank Amount Rank Amount Rank ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ North Tippah
*1,829.20 100 1,175.58 113 1,671.22 108 South Tippah *1,757.42 117 1,185.98 104 1,612.25 121 Tishomingo 1,968.02 61 1,157.67 123 1,819.53 70 Iuka 1,577.18 147 1,078.86 144 1,456.91 148 Tunica 1,809.43 107 1,092.64 142 1,661.67 109 Union 1,658.56 135 1,104.20 138 1,527.78 138 New Albany 2,073.07 40 1,367.04 32 1,985.33 35 Walthall 1,797.02 109 1,279.93 56 1,622.85 119 Warren 1,951.95 63 1,166.91 118 1,791.93 75 Vicksburg 2,209.59 26 1,388.60 27 2,128.96 19 Hollandale *1,898.37 81 1,313.56 44 1,778.27 80 Leland *2,261.80 17 1,498.17 9 2,141.71 15 Western Line *2,243.11 21 1,472.29 14 2,123.03 20 Greenville 1,974.31 60 1,279.45 57 1,918.06 44 Wayne 1,790.77 111 1,135.49 130 1,642.63 115 Webster 1,834.83 99 1,225.69 83 1,688.89 104 Wilkinson 2,304.75 14 1,442.19 20 2,137.07 17 Louisville 1,814.22 104 1,181.68 109 1,639.88 116 Coffeeville *2,241.05 22 1,278.55 59 2,028.25 29 Water Valley *1,705.38 128 1,040.79 149 1,492.57 142 Yazoo 2,845.92 3 1,490.19 12 2,333.34 8 Holly Bluff *2,500.03 7 1,524.17 5 2,448.57 6 Yazoo City 2,023.38 46 1,205.28 93 2,018.31 32 ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Statewide Average 1,965.78 1,261.09 1,842.94 Chickasaw Average 1,853.52 1,218.82 1,722.82 Chocktaw Average 1,992.92 1,268.17 1,879.67 ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
RECEIPTS FOR PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Source of State Funds: State Dept. of Ed. $ 9,005,760 Per Capita & Minimum Program 490,568,205 Vocational Ed. 16,269,064 Chickasaw 61,454 Homestead Exemption 30,916,541 EFC Payments 2,898,692 Severance Tax 10,290,972 Driver Penalty Funds 555,963 Textbook 6,110,596 School Lunch 574,624 Adult Ed. 35,619 Educable Children 511,070 Ed. Reform Act 985,796 Other 153,766 _____________ Total State Funds $ 568,938,122 56.1% Source of Federal Funds: State Dept. Ed. $ 6,293,149 Vocational Ed. 3,540,422 National Forest 3,247,726 TVA 643,509 P. L. 874 2,657,490 ECIA Ch. 1 64,896,618 ECIA Ch. 2 4,388,330 ESEA Other 107,118 OEO 151,860 Soc. Sec. Tit. XX & CETA (Emp. Sec. Comm.) 1,677.019 School Lunch & Sp. Milk & Nonfood Asst. 67,638,280 School Lunch, Commodities, Food 12,660,094 Adult Ed. 745,079 Education Handicapped Act 11,347,044 Other (e.g., CETA Governor's Office) 3,403,978 _____________ Total Federal Funds $ 183,397,716 18.1%
RECEIPTS FOR PUBLIC SCHOOLS — Continued
Source of Local Funds: Ad Valorem Tax $ 165,985,203 Mineral Lease Tax 86,276 Tuition from Patrons 1,991,041 Transp. Fees from Patrons 222,585 Sixteen Section Income 16,272,925 Interest on Investments 12,800,202 Intermediate Source 816,620 Bond & Int. Fund Receipts 25,405,580 School Lunch 24,668,351 Student Activity 7,063,639 Other 5,809,634 ______________ Total Local Sources $ 261,122,056 25.8% ______________ TOTAL REVENUE RECEIPTS $ 1,013,457,894 100.0% Nonrevenue Receipts: Sale of Bonds $ 33,393,809 Sale of Assets 1,603,699 Insurance Loss Recovery 3,383,380 Loans 10,357,549 ______________ TOTAL NONREVENUE RECEIPTS $ 48,738,437 ______________ TOTAL REVENUE & NONREVENUE RECEIPTS $1,062,196,331
SOURCE: Mississippi State Board of Education, 1986 Annual Report of the State Superintendent of Public Education 48 (1986).
SOURCE: Mississippi State Board of Education, 1986 Annual Report of the State Superintendent of Public Education 144-146 (1986).
"At the point where the Ohio River crosses the Pennsylvania border, a north-south line — a principal meridian — was to be run and a base line west-ward — the geographer's line — was to be surveyed; parallel lines of longitude and latitude were to be surveyed, each to be 6 miles apart, making for townships of 36 square miles or 23,040 acres. . . . Each township was to be divided into lots of one mile square containing 640 acres." Id., at 65.
Each of these 1-square-mile lots was called a "section," so the section numbered 16, reserved for the public schools, was the "Sixteenth Section."
The Restatement, for example, seems to adopt the latter view:
"If a trust is created and the whole of the trust property ceases to exist, the trustee no longer holds anything in trust. In such a case the trustee is under a personal liability to the beneficiary if he committed a breach of trust in causing or allowing the trust property to cease to exist, or if he sold the trust property to himself or lent trust funds to himself, being permitted to do so by the terms of the trust. In such a case if the trustee should be insolvent the beneficiary is not entitled to priority over the general creditors of the trustee. This does not mean, however, that he owes no duties to the beneficiary except the duties which a debtor owes to his creditor, or a tortfeasor to the person he has wronged. He is still in a fiduciary relation to the beneficiary. He cannot properly purchase the interest of the beneficiary without making full disclosure of all circumstances known to him affecting the transaction, and the transaction must be fair, or the beneficiary can set it aside." Restatement (Second) of Trusts § 74, Comment c, p. 194 (1959) (citations omitted).
"[W]e have no indication that the present levels of educational expenditures in Texas provide an education that falls short [of such a hypothesized constitutional prerequisite]. Whatever merit appellees' argument might have if a State's financing system occasioned an absolute denial of educational opportunities to any of its children, that argument provides no basis for finding an interference with fundamental rights where only relative differences in spending levels are involved and where — as is true in the present case — no charge fairly could be made that the system fails to provide each child with an opportunity to acquire the basic minimum skills necessary for the enjoyment of the rights of speech and of full participation in the political process." 411 U. S., at 36-37.
Each of these possible conclusions finds some support in this Court's prior cases. In Cooper v. Roberts, 18 How. 173, 181-182 (1856), for example, the Court approved the sale of school lands granted to the State of Michigan even where Congress had not expressly authorized such a sale, stating that "the grant is to the State directly, without limitation of its power, though there is a sacred obligation imposed on its public faith." The Court adopted this same reasoning in Alabama v. Schmidt, 232 U.S. 168 (1914), in which the Court approved the application of Alabama's adverse possession laws to school lands against an argument that the State's interest could not be extinguished in that manner under the terms of the grant and that when the lands were no longer used for the support of the schools title would revert to the United States. Relying on Cooper, the Court concluded that "[t]he gift to the State is absolute, although, no doubt, as said in Cooper, `there is a sacred obligation imposed on its public faith.' But that obligation is honorary . . . ." 232 U. S., at 173-174 (citations omitted). See also Stuart v. Easton, 170 U.S. 383, 394 (1898) (cited by the Court in Schmidt, supra, at 174) (" `the mere expression of a purpose will not of and by itself debase a fee' ") (quoting Kerlin v. Campbell, 15 Pa. St. 500 (1850)). Thus, the Court's interpretations of some of the earlier grants conceived of those grants as conveying a fee interest to the States. See also Brooks v. Koonce, 275 U.S. 486 (1927) (per curiam), aff'g Sloan v. Blytheville Special School Dist. No. 5, 169 Ark. 77, 273 S. W. 397 (1925) (relying on Cooper and Schmidt to dismiss challenge by local school board to use of proceeds from local Sixteenth Section lands for the benefit of the State at large).
On the other hand, cases interpreting more recent grants have found an explicit trust obligation, although it is worth nothing that none of these grants included a provision similar to that at issue here; they provided for lands for the general benefit of the schools in the State. However, in Errien v. United States, 251 U.S. 41 (1919), for example, the Court upheld a lower court decision enjoining as a breach of trust any use by the New Mexico Public Lands Commissioner of Sixteenth Section proceeds for a purpose other than one of the purposes enumerated in the grant. Thus, the Court held that under these circumstances the phrase "breach of trust" meant "that the United States, being the grantor of the lands, could impose conditions upon their use, and have the right to exact the performance of the conditions." Id., at 48. More recently, the Court in Lassen v. Arizona ex rel. Arizona Highway Dept., 385 U.S. 458, 460-461 (1967), interpreted and enforced the terms of the Arizona school lands grant, noting that "[t]he grant involved here . . . expressly requires the Attorney General of the United States to maintain whatever proceedings may be necessary to enforce its terms." See also Alamo Land & Cattle Co. v. Arizona, 424 U.S. 295 (1976).
Thus, the Court has indicated that some school lands grants did not create express trusts and has held that other grants did create such trusts, although it has never enforced a provision such as the provision at issue here. The Court has never discussed the relationship between these two sets of cases, but it is possible that any variation in results stems from the facts that the terms of the grants have varied over time. See Lassen, supra, at 460. Thus, it could be that the earlier grants did give the grantee States absolute fee interests, while the later grants created actual enforceable trusts. On the other hand, it may be that the petitioners are correct in asserting that the substance of all of these grants is the same. See S. Rep. No. 454, 61st Cong., 2d Sess., 18-20 (1910) (referring to express trust provisions in New Mexico and Arizona Enabling Act as "nothing new in principle," and noting that "[f]or many years it has been the custom to specify the purposes for which grants of lands are made to incoming states and to place express restrictions upon the mode of disposing of them"). Or perhaps they are all properly viewed as being in the nature of "a `solemn agreement' which in some ways may be analogized to a contract between private parties." Andrus v. Utah, 446 U. S., at 507. Perhaps, then, the conditions of the grants are still enforceable by the United States, although possibly not by third parties. This may be the case even though the federal defendants disavowed this position below, arguing that Cooper and Schmidt control and that our recent cases are distinguishable because they involve express trusts. See, e. g., Reply Brief for Federal Defendants in No. 81-90 (ND Miss.), pp. 60-62.
Despite the wide-ranging complaint, the only alleged denial of equal protection is with respect to the funding in the Chickasaw Cession school districts. As noted supra, at 296, these funds are only 1 1/2% of overall funding for elementary and secondary schools within the State.
I also note that Mississippi has taken numerous steps to ensure the adequacy of the most important single factor in education: the quality of the teachers. The State has established a Commission on Teacher and Administrator Education to oversee the training, certification, and evaluation of public school teachers throughout Mississippi. Miss. Code Ann. § 37-3-2 (Supp. 1985). There is a guaranteed minimum for teachers' salaries that may be augmented by the local districts, §§ 37-19-7 and 37-19-15, a scale of pay increases based on tenure and merit, § 37-19-7, a guarantee of no reduction in any local supplements to salary, § 37-19-11, a set of minimum standards for teachers' competency, § 37-19-9, and a requirement that all teachers employed after July 1, 1975, take the "national teachers examination," § 37-19-13.