Court Decision for Special Education Tuition

by NYC Firm Schools on June 24, 2009

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Creative Commons License photo credit: Tjeerd

The Supreme Court decision regarding Private School Tuition reimbursement for special education students has finally happened, as reported by the NY Times article, Court Affirms Reimbursement for Special Education.

the Supreme Court ruled on Monday that parents of special-education students may seek government reimbursement for private school tuition, even if they have never received special-education services in public school.

The origins of the case began a long way away from New York. However, the case had far reaching effects.

The case before the court involved a struggling Oregon high school student, identified in court documents only as T. A., whose parents removed him from public school in the Forest Grove district in his junior year and enrolled him in a $5,200-a-month residential school.

The history of this court battle in New York has often been cited alongside the increasing costs of education, Private School, and special education costs factors.

In 2007-8, the New York City schools, which filed a friend-of-court brief supporting Forest Grove, paid $89 million in private-school tuition for disabled students whose parents had placed them there, up from $53 million two years earlier. In 2007-8, the city received 4,368 requests for reimbursement from parents who enrolled their children in private school; of those, more than half had not received services in public school.

The Supreme Court had previously considered the issue of tuition reimbursement, however, the decision was split 4 to 4 with one justice not voting. The ruling in Monday’s decision came in at 6-3, stating unequivocally that parents of special-education students may seek government reimbursement for private school tuition even if they have never received special-education services in public school.

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