Friday Roundup: Tax Credits, Special Education, and Saggy Pants

By Mark Walsh — April 24, 2009 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

With a busy week for education in the Supreme Court, I haven’t had time to take note of these rulings:

Arizona Private School Tax Credit: A federal appeals court revived a challenge to a state program that provides an income tax credit for contributions to private school scholarships, including at religious schools.

A panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, in San Francisco, ruled 3-0 in Winn v. Arizona Christian School Organization that if the facts as alleged in a challenge are true, the tax credit program "“carries with it the imprimatur of government endorsement” of religion in violation of the First Amendment’s clause barring government establishment of religion.

The court ordered a federal district court to reinstate the suit.

IDEA Private School Reimbursement: With the Supreme Court set to take up a special education case about parental placements of their children in private schools (see my preview here), a lower federal court has ruled for parents in such a case.

A three judge-panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, in New Orleans, ruled in Houston Independent School District v. V.P. that parents of a student with a disability deserved reimbursement for a second year of private school tuition, in addition to the first year authorized by a district court under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

Sagging Pants: Not a school case, per se, but this issue has been watched with interest by school lawyers: A state trial judge in Florida has struck down a town’s ordinance bagging saggy pants that expose the wearer’s underwear.

According to this story in the Palm Beach Post, the judge held that the ordinance by the town of Riviera Beach violates could not be justified under the 14th Amendment. (The decision does not appear to be available on the court’s Web site.)

A version of this news article first appeared in The School Law Blog.