I can’t say that this move surprises me: Milwaukee has challenged a recent court ruling that says the district has to find and provide compensatory education to special education students who were in the district from 2000 to 2005.
The order from U.S. Magistrate Judge Aaron Goodstein required MPS to launch a wide search for former and current students - including regular education students - it failed to serve under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act from 2000 to 2005. The judge ordered that those students should be compensated but left the details on how to do that up to the plaintiff and defendants. MPS officials said the costs of carrying out such a search with so many students would burden the district and taxpayers. The appeal also challenges several previous court rulings in the case, including an order that the district take remedial action on a class-wide basis, and a ruling that obligated the district to evaluate kids for special needs who have been retained a grade or received multiple suspensions.
I blogged about this a few days ago, and I wondered then about cost issues, which apparently the district’s attorneys have also brought up as an issue. But a lawyer for a disability advocacy organization that brought the lawsuit against the district notes in the article, “what they’ve chosen to do throughout this case, and what they’re doing now, is making a decision to pay attorneys rather than compensate kids whose rights have been violated.”
A version of this news article first appeared in the On Special Education blog.