ERIC Number: ED468578
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-May-22
Reference Count: N/A
DCPS: Attorneys' Fees for Access to Special Education Opportunities.
Franzel, Jeanette M.
The District of Columbia passed appropriation acts for fiscal years 1999, 2000, and 2001 to limit the amount of appropriated funds that could be paid to an attorney representing a prevailing party in an action brought against District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). A study investigated court mandated attorneys' fees paid by the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) and attorneys' fees awards that were in excess of the appropriation act's limitations. A review of DCPS's February 28, 2002, report on Individuals with Disabilities Education Act awards and payments for fiscal years 1999, 2000, and 2001 indicates the appropriation act's limitations had little if any impact on the total amount awarded by the courts for the attorneys' fees of prevailing parties. Court decisions make it clear that the appropriation act's limitations applied only to the amount that the District could pay to a prevailing party under IDEA and not the amount that the court could award. The decisions also make it clear that where there in an independent legal basis to award attorneys' fees, such as the Civil Rights Act, the court could do so without regard to the appropriation act's limitations. (CR)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: General Accounting Office, Washington, DC.
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act