Sunday, September 09, 2007
Judge David Ezra to hear case Monday challenging legality of a Hawaii special ed law
Hawaii seems to have jumped the gun, passing a special education law before it had authority to do so under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). At a hearing tomorrow, Judge David Ezra will hear a challenge to that law.
The law imposes an onerous 90-day statute of limitations that traps parents who wish to seek private placement for their special needs students -- usually in cases where the public school is unable or unwilling to provide the needed services.
The short statute of limitations and a small pool of attorneys in Hawaii willing to take up these cases means that many children simply lose out. The consequences for their future lives and careers are heavy.
The hearing is open to the public and dozens of concerned parents are expected to attend. You can also, especially if you would like to support parents in their ongoing fight to get services from a reluctant Department of Education.
It will be in Judge Ezra's courtroom on the 4th floor of the Federal Courthouse starting at 9 a.m. on Monday September 10, 2007. Plan to be there a little early since there is security screening. You might leave your cellphone and PDA in your car because they throw them in a file cabinet if you bring them through security.
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