Special Ed Funding: Is the Bad Economy a Hot Button Issue?

Example of state employee furloughs in 2009 be...Image via Wikipedia

We have suggested here before that the bad economy is a hot button issue in special education law. We are still not seeing many cases that deal with the cost of services directly, but a few have appeared.

Readers have suggested that we are more likely to see a back door effect. Perhaps the economy will play a role in decisions without being a topic of discussion - many have suggested.

We have seen layoffs- sometimes given the more suitable red-tape name "Furlough Fridays." Layoffs have hit teachers in many states and even administrative law judges in some.

Here is another case in which I'll bet the economy plays some role. A coalition of school districts in Washington state has filed a legal action complaining that the state does not adequately fund special education in violation of the state constitution. Here is a brief history of the lawsuit by the Alliance for Adequate Funding of Special Education. The Alliance got the trial court to rule that a cap on the number of special education kids the state would pay for to be unconstitutional, but upheld the overall funding formula. The appellate level court affirmed. On June 22nd, the state supreme court heard oral arguments. Here is a news account by the Issaquah Press.