Supreme Court Splits On Special Ed Case


Wednesday, October 10th 2007, 9:44 am
By: News On 6


WASHINGTON (AP) _ The Supreme Court on Wednesday affirmed a ruling that requires New York City schools to reimburse a wealthy businessman for private special education for his son.

The justices split 4-4 on the case, which means a lower court ruling siding with former Viacom executive Tom Freston remains in place.

Lower courts had sided with Freston against city schools, saying the city must pay for education for the learning-disabled student, even when his parents enrolled him in private school after deciding public schools were unable to meet the child's needs.

The New York City's board of education had asked the justices to take the case after a lower court said tuition reimbursement is available to the parents under the Individuals With Disabilities Act.

The Supreme Court voted 4-4, with Justice Anthony Kennedy not participating in the case. The justices announced their vote in a two-sentence statement.

The New York City board of education had asked the justices to take the case after a lower court said that tuition reimbursement is available to the parents under the Individuals With Disabilities Act.

Lawyers for the boy's parents said the special education program proposed by the public school system was inadequate to meet the child's needs, prompting his parents to send him to a private school.

The parents say that under federal law, they may challenge inappropriate proposals and obtain reimbursement for the costs of placement in private school.