Doe v State of Ohio
Doe v. State of Ohio seeks to enforce state officials' obligations to ensure that children with disabilities receive a free appropriate public education (FAPE) under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA). Plaintiffs allege that inequities in and underfunding of special education results in discrimination and denial of the appropriate education of Ohio students with disabilities.
In October 2009, a partial settlement was reached to resolve other claims in the case. The Consent Order brought Ohio into line with federal regulations regarding the Ohio Department of Education's monitoring of school district special education programs and investigation of complaints filed by parents or students. The Consent Order included a number of procedural safeguards resulting in transparent processes, increased input from parents and more timely and comprehensive complaint decisions.
In February 2012, U.S. District Judge Michael Watson upheld the right of students with disabilities to bring suit against the state of Ohio, the Governor and the Ohio Department of Education to enforce the plaintiffs' rights to adequate funding of special education services under the IDEA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The opinion recognizes that the plaintiffs and the plaintiff class they represent have stated a cause of action under both federal laws. The case will now proceed to discovery and trial.
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