Wednesday, December 30, 2009
9th Circuit to hear furlough case in Honolulu in February
by Larry Geller
The federal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed to expedite the hearing of an appeal challenging the Department of Education’s Furlough Fridays on behalf of special needs students. The appeal will be heard on February 10, 2010, at 1132 Bishop Street, Sixth Floor. Although the calendar starts at 9:00 a.m., there are other cases ahead of this one, so the exact hearing time isn’t known. It would be good to be there early just to be sure, if you plan to attend.
ND et al v. DOE was argued in November by attorneys Stan Levin, Susan Dorsey and Carl Varady in federal court in Honolulu. Judge Wallace Tashima said that he thinks the plaintiffs are suffering irreparable harm but did not rule on the merits and did not grant an injunction to halt the furloughs (see my take on the ruling at: … but the judge knows best, doesn’t he? ).
The complaints allege that the DOE tried to unilaterally change students’ IEP programs. If the 9th circuit rules against the state, the furloughs may be enjoined, and some remedy may be provided for special needs students who have lost part of their educational benefit.
Another case challenging Furlough Fridays on behalf of regular ed as well as special ed students argued by attorney Eric Seitz was not appealed.