ERIC Number: ED417514
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-Feb
Reference Count: N/A
Landmark Court Decisions Challenge State Special Education Funding.
Verstegen, Deborah A.
CSEF Brief, n9 Feb 1998
This brief provides an overview of three recent state court cases in Alabama, Wyoming, and Ohio that uniquely address the constitutionality of state special education finance systems. In each case, the courts found the special education finance systems to be unconstitutional due to inequitable or inadequate funding for children with disabilities. Taken as a whole, these court decisions suggest that state special education finance systems are vulnerable to future court challenges because they curtail the availability of a free and appropriate education for children with disabilities and restrict equal educational opportunities. The brief also discusses the implications these cases have for the future of special education funding systems and suggests several broad parameters that funding systems should consider to meet the full intent of the law. These include: (1) special education finance must be cost-based (costs must be legitimate and justifiable); (2) the real costs of providing special education and related services must be incorporated in the state finance system and supported by the state, either through full state funding or state-local cost sharing; (3) the provision of special education and related services must be uniform across the state; and (4) facilities must be safe, healthy, and accessible to all children. (Author/DB)
Descriptors: Compliance (Legal), Constitutional Law, Court Litigation, Disabilities, Educational Finance, Educational Opportunities, Elementary Secondary Education, Equal Education, Legal Responsibility, Program Costs, Special Education, State Aid, State School District Relationship
Center for Special Education Finance (CSEF), American Institutes for Research, P.O. Box 1113, 1791 Arastradero Rd., Palo Alto, CA 94302-1113; telephone: 650-493-3550 x240; fax: 650-858-0958; TDD: 650-843-8186; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; World Wide Web: http://csef.air.org
Publication Type: Collected Works - Serials; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Special Education Programs (ED/OSERS), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: American Institutes for Research in the Behavioral Sciences, Palo Alto, CA. Center for Special Education Finance.
Identifiers - Location: Alabama; Ohio; Wyoming