Schools roundup

  • “Wyoming: Efforts to strip state courts of jurisdiction to hear K-12 funding lawsuits reintroduced; courts could declare funding system unconstitutional but could not order more funding” [Gavel To Gavel, more on school finance litigation]
  • Coalition of accusers’-rights groups sue Education Department demanding restoration of earlier Obama versions Title IX guidance [KC Johnson Twitter thread pointing out weaknesses in suit]
  • “A High School Student Faces Expulsion for Noticing the Square Root Symbol Looks Like a Gun” [Scott Shackford]
  • How a political machine based on the schools lobby ran one affluent suburban county (Montgomery County, Maryland) before fumbling its grip [Adam Pagnucco, The Seventh State]
  • Costs approach $1M in Southern California special ed dispute over one student’s education [Ashly McGlone, San Diego Union-Tribune]
  • Japan: “Of course, this ignores the absurdity that students are being required, or feel required, to dye their hair because of a policy that was supposedly meant to prohibit students from dying their hair.” [Lowering the Bar]


  • re: CA special ed dispute

    Seems like the correct result for one child, a horrible result for all of the other children in the district.

    What other ways could we have come to a good result for the child, allowed the school district to make its case, and not spent $1,000,000? I don’t know.

    • The school kept appealing and losing its appeals. They appealed all the way to Supreme court and lost. This was all over paying $6100 a year for private schooling for the special needs child. Here are a couple of ways they could have saved money. Just pay the $6100 from the beginning(savings 900,000 at least). Stop appealing the case so many times would have also saved the district money. The school had a choice to keep litigating their losing case and they made the case to keep plowing forward and now the bill is due.

  • I don’t blame parents who want the best for their kid. But the American glorification of lesser-able students has gone to insane places. We’ve turned the special education business into a cult — nobody dare question the money spent on the special student or the battles surrounding it, because you’d be a meanie who doesn’t care about less-able children. But resources are finite, and there comes a time to say, “sorry, we can’t do anything else.” The law, however, recognizes NO LIMITS on resource expenditure. That is a recipe for $1 million legal fees over a $6K tuition issue.

    • But the school district chose to spend that much on this case. It’s not as if they were being asked to spend $1 million on special ed services, and $6,100 frankly sounds quite cheap for any California private school, let alone one offering one-on-one attention for a child with special needs (it’s substantially less than the state’s per-pupil average spending for public schools). If you’re appealing a small dollar case as far as the Supreme Court, you’re intentionally pursuing a cause, and the cost for that is on you.

      I think there’s very much a valid discussion to have over why we have a legal system that costs this much to come to a final adjudication of a dispute such as this (part of the reason this blog exists). But that shouldn’t be confused with the resources required to educate the student in question, which seem fairly modest. Nobody needed to say “sorry, we can’t do anything else” here; somebody just needed to acknowledge they lost and stop the appeals.

  • Considering the school district lost the case on the merits, I don’t know why you imagine that they had a valid case to make.

  • As you observe “medical” expenses continue to rise (and they will), and you read that physicians who practice defensive medicine are a large part of the reason (and they are), remember this case.

  • I was in the NC School for the blind from 1976 – 1980 grades 9 – 12. The estimate at that time was $35,000.00 per student per year.

  • In the square root case, the article says the student’s house was searched. It doesn’t say whether that search was voluntary, or under a warrant. If any judge issued a warrant, they should be impeached. Mentioning that something looks like a gun is not probable cause for anything.