D.C. School District Wins Appeal

In a major win for the D.C. School District, a three judge panel from the U.S. Court of Appeals has allowed the city's motion to drop an injunction to go through.

Post by SEN Team | december 13th, 2011
It had previously been denied by U.S. District Court Judge Paul L. Friedman. The injunction is related to a case, Nikita Petties v. Dc, that was brought against the District in 1995 by parents of special needs children who had their children in private schools because public schools in D.C. were not meeting their children's educational needs guaranteed under the IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act).

The parents argued that because the district had a poor track record with paying bills on time, that their children's education was in jeopardy. When Judge Friedman originally denied the motion to drop the injunction, he stated that dropping the injunction would interfere with current negotiations between the District and the plaintiffs.

However, this ruling was reversed because the appeals panel found that the District had proof of prompt payment of bills that are related to special education owed to private institutions. From October 2009 to November 2010 the District had a 98.9 percent rate of on time payment of invoices due. The ruling does not change all of the guidelines put in place by Petties v. Dc; there are still several other regulations in place to ensure that children in the area with special needs are given appropriate consideration.

There are other significant effects that the decision will have, other than paving the way to lift the injunction. According to D.C. Attorney General Irvin B. Nathan, judges in the future will need to ensure that they review all current data in cases such as these to ensure that decrees put in place years ago are not continued when they are no longer necessarily appropriate.
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Source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dc-schools-insider/post/district-wins-appeal-of-special-education-ruling/2011/12/05/gIQAhe0pWO_blog.html­
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categories: special needs



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