Well, despite the headline, they didn't exactly "affirm" it, but they did end up approving it because of the deadlock (4-4).
Good news for any families looking to get reimbursement for special ed services in private schools--at least in NY.
Justices Affirm Special Ed Ruling
By PETE YOST
October 10, 2007 updated 3:14 pm EDT
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court today affirmed a ruling that requires New York City schools to reimburse a wealthy businessman for private special education for his son.
The justices split 4-4 on the case, which means a lower court ruling siding with a former Viacom executive, Tom Freston, remains in place.
Lower courts had ruled in favor of Mr. Freston against New York City's board of education, saying the city must pay for educating learning-disabled students in private schools, even when they don't first give the public school system a chance.
New York City's legal department said the decision detracts from schools' abilities to work with parents for the best possible educational outcomes for children with disabilities.
Since the decision is not a precedent which would guide all American public school districts, "we are hopeful that the Supreme Court will resolve this important issue in the near future," the city legal department said in a statement.
The student's parents had insisted that public schools were unable to meet the child's needs. His learning disabilities were diagnosed after he was enrolled in private school.
The board of education had asked the justices to take the case after a lower court said tuition reimbursement is available to the parents under the Individuals With Disabilities Act.
Justice Anthony Kennedy did not participate in the case and the court's two-sentence statement gave no explanation for his absence.
The New York City board of education had asked the justices to take the case after a lower court said that tuition reimbursement is available to the parents under the Individuals With Disabilities Act.