Monday, March 28

Nuisance Suits In The News

Indianapolis Star: Charter school won't expel special-needs 10-year-old.

And all it took was five months of effort by a Legal Services attorney. Five months while the boy sat out of school after being suspended from class (as a first step to expelling him) for being "disruptive", despite the fact that Federal law prohibits suspending students for behaviors linked to their disabilities.

My favorite part of the article, though, was the contributions of the Official Charter School Apologist Society and Debating Club, one of whom works at taxpayers' expense. Indianapolis' charter school director, David E. Harris, explained the difficulties charters face: "A school with 100 children doesn't have the same resources of a 35,000-student district." Adds Gerry Wagner, director of the Special Education Co-operative for a statewide charter organization, "Charter organizers never dreamed there would be this many children who qualify for special education services enrolling."

Oh sure. There's no way city government could have foreseen that charter schools would run up against federal regulations in the matter of special-needs students. After all, it was only charters' opponents who were talking about it in the bull-rush to open as many as possible. And who woulda guessed that charter schools would attract almost half the percentage of such students that the public schools do? Or that not every one would go quietly when they tried to shunt 'em back from whence they came? Apprently not the guy who runs their Special Education Co-operative. Man, I hate to see public servants get blindsided like that.

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