Six years ago, a movement by some Wheatland residents to secede from Farrell Area School District and join West Middesex schools began.

In the time since, they’ve tried to sell their cause to the public and the courts.

A recent state Commonwealth Court ruling assured no likely resolution to the case until fall.

The court ruled that it will hear Farrell Area School District’s appeal of Mercer County Common Pleas Court Judge Francis J. Fornelli’s ruling that the Wheatland Educational Alternatives Taskforce, or WhEAT, petition to leave Farrell meets standards set in the state School Code.

Fornelli’s ruling had placed the matter in the hands of the state Department of Education to decide if the WhEAT movement has merit. In early March, the state sent questionnaires to Farrell and West Middlesex school districts for student, curriculum and financial information to help state Secretary of Education Gerald L. Zahorchak determine if the WhEAT request has merit.

Fornelli had denied Farrell’s appeal, but didn’t certify his decision — a move that stopped the district from appealing the decision to a higher court. But Farrell appealed the lack of certification to state Commonwealth Court.

The Commonwealth Court ruling, handed down last week, stays any Mercer County court proceedings, and halts Zahorchak’s request for information from Farrell and West Middlesex until it rules on Farrell’s appeal.

In short, this means there won’t be any public movement on the case until the Commonwealth Court’s October session.

Farrell Area School District solicitor James E. Nevant II, and WhEAT attorney Joann Jofery couldn’t be reached for comment Tuesday.

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