It's time to redefine what a "free public education" means
Hopefully, the Supreme Court will use some sense on this one.
The Supreme Court will try again to resolve the difficult issue of when taxpayers must foot the bill for private schooling for special education students.
The court agreed Friday to hear an appeal from an Oregon school district that contends students should at least give public special education programs a try before seeking reimbursement for private school tuition.
A federal appeals court sided with a high-school student identified in court papers only as T.A., who enrolled in a $5,200-a month private program and sought reimbursement from the Forest Grove School District.
The Supreme Court heard a similar case from New York in 2007, but split 4-4 on the outcome.
The case is Forest Grove School District v. T.A., 08-305.
If you want to go to a private school, pay for it yourself through scholarships or loans like the rest of us. And when will any consideration be made about how lawsuits like this damage the educations of all the rest of the students in the district-- those who will be making do with much less and eventually trying to make their way in the world?
I've seen this kind of thing happen-- a parent decided to suddenly halt giving his child the prescriptions that had kept her from suffering terrible delusions and tics and other psychological difficulties, so that the student would struggle and act out, and then the parent could sue the school district to pay for an incredibly expensive private school. And he didn't care how much his daughter suffered while this went on. But those that spent hours with her every day watched her decline into near madness. It was horrible. And wrong.
A few years later, I ran into this monster, and he actually bragged about what he had tried to do-- and was angry that he hadn't prevailed in the courts. And the type of medication that his daughter was taking wasn't the type which was supposed to be summarily withdrawn, and the girl was never the same.