Friday, July 03, 2020
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Tuesday, September 30, 2014
1,400 Older Special Ed Students May Benefit from Class Action Lawsuit Victory
By News Release @ 5:35 AM :: 3387 Views :: Education K-12

From  http://www.hawaiiclassaction.com/ERK/ 

E.R.K. v. Department of Education Civ. No. 10-00436 SOM/KSC

Court:  United States District Court for the District of Hawaii

Judge:  Hon. Susan Oki Mollway

What is this lawsuit about?

This lawsuit challenged Act 163, a Hawai`i law passed in 2010.  Act 163 barred students from attending public school if they were at least twenty years old on the first day of school.  The plaintiffs, special education students who were adversely affected by the law and the Hawai`i Disability Rights Center, filed suit on July 27, 2010, a few weeks after the law became effective.

Act 163 unfairly harmed special education students aged 20 and 21.  Hawai`i provides free educational services to non-disabled individuals regardless of their age.  Even if non-disabled students “age out” of high school they are eligible to attend the Community Schools for Adults to continue their secondary education until they receive a high school diploma.  However, these adult schools have noprograms or services for special education students, only general education students.  The effect of this is that non-disabled students can receive educational services until they are 22 (and older), but special education students could not.

In August 2013, the Ninth Circuit ruled that this double standard violated the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which requires that states provide a “free appropriate public education” to all children with disabilities residing in the state who are under age 22.

What’s happening now?

The law no longer prevents older special education students from receiving services.  After the Ninth Circuit ruled that Hawaii’s law violated the IDEA, the legislature amended the language of the law so that it does not apply to special education students.  Now, special education students may receive special education and related services until they get their high school diploma or reach the age of 22.

Restoring services to older special education students is particularly important.  Under the IDEA, the education plans that are created each year for older special education students include individualized goals for their lives after high school (such as further education, training, employment, and independent living skills), and set up a plan to provide the transition services and activities needed for the students to pursue and reach these goals, be it college, work, or their own individual path.

Some former students can get free services.  The law did not change until 2014, and the DOE did not begin to send 20- and 21-year-olds a notification of their right to continued IDEA services until 2014.  During that time, many disabled individuals left school early without receiving all of the services they were entitled to.  Others who were affected include disabled individuals who dropped out or left school before 2010, but were not properly notified of their right to return because of Act 163.  These persons are now between 22 and 26 years old.  On August 22, 2014, the court ruled that these individuals are entitled to free services from the DOE called “compensatory education.”

The services will be provided in a setting suitable for the former students’ age and needs, such as a community college, a work program, or some other place.  We will oppose any effort by the DOE to offer classes in a high school setting.  Individuals will have a say in what services the DOE must provide to them.

Can I get free services?

On September 29, 2014, class counsel mailed out letters to individuals we are aware of who were affected by Act 163.  If you received a yellow letter, and you are interested in receiving services, or would like more information, please contact us using one of the methods below.

In addition, there may be other people whose names and addresses we do not have who are entitled to free services because they were affected by Act 163.  If you think you may know someone who received special education and related services, left school without receiving a high school diploma, and is between 22 and 26 years old, please encourage him or her, or a family member or guardian, to contact us or our co-counsel, the Hawaii Disability Rights Center.

Class members and those assisting them will pay nothing out of pocket for our legal services.

  • Email: info@hawaiidisabilityrights.org
  • Phone: (808) 949-2922, (808) 441-6268 (800) 882-1057 (Voice/TTY)
  • Mail: Hawaii Disability Rights Center, 1132 Bishop St., Suite 2102 Honolulu, Hawaii  96813

Documents related to this case

COVERAGE:

Links

TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote

2aHawaii

808 Silent Majority

808 State Update AM940

ABCDEFG Blog

ACA Signups Hawaii

ACCE

ALEC

Alliance Defending Freedom

Aloha Life Advocates

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

American Council of Trustees and Alumni

American Mothers of Hawaii

AMVETS-Hawaii

AntiPlanner

Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Astronomy Hawaii

Audit The Rail

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii 

Blaisdell Memorial Project

Broken Trust 

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

CAFR Hawaii

Castaway Conservative

Children's Alliance Hawaii

Children's Rights Institute

ChinaTownWatch.com

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Citizens for Recall

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

Coffee Break

CSIS Pacific Forum

DAR Hawaii

DeedySupport.com

DVids Hawaii

E Hana Kakou Kelii Akina

E Māua Ola i Moku o Keawe

Farmers For Choice Hawaii

FIRE

Fix Oahu!

Follow the Money Hawaii

Frank in Hawaii

Front Page Magazine

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Get Off Your Butts!

God, Freedom, America

Grassroot Institute

Habele.org

Hawaii Aganst Assisted Suicide

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Credit Union Watch

Hawaii Crime Victims' Rights

Hawaii Crop Improvement Association

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defending Marriage

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Advocates

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii Firearm Community

Hawaii Fishermen's Alliance

Hawaii Future Project

Hawaii Gathering of Eagles

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii March for Life

Hawaii Meth Project

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Right to Life -- Big Island

Hawaii Right to Life -- Oahu

Hawaii Shield Law Coalition

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together

Heritage Foundation

HI Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

HIEC.Coop 

HiFiCo

Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Homeless Crisis

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

Horns of Jericho Blog

House Minority Blog

House Republican Caucus YouTube

HPACC

Hump Day Report

I Vote Hawaii

If Hawaii News

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

Iowa Meets Maui

Jackson v Abercrombie

Jihad Watch

July 4 in Hawaii

Kahle v New Hope

Kakaako Cares

Kau TEA Party

Kauai Co GOP

Keep Hawaii's Heroes

KeyWiki

Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Malulani Foundation

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

Mauna Kea Recreational Users Group

MentalIllnessPolicy.org

Middle East Forum--The Legal Project

Mililani Conservatives for Change

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

Muslim Brotherhood in America

NAMI Hawaii

NARTH

Natatorium.org

National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

National Wind Watch

New Hawaiian

New Zeal

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Northwest Economic Policy Seminar

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

Now What I Really Think

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport

ObamaCare Abortion Hawaii

Obookiah

OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

OurFutureHawaii.com

Pacific Aviation Museum

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Pritchett Cartoons 

Pro-GMO Hawaii

P.U.E.O.

RailRipoff.com

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Republican Party -- Hawaii State

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

Save Dillingham Airfield

School Choice in Hawaii

SenatorFong.com

SIFE Remington

SIFE W. Oahu 

Sink the Jones Act

Smart About Marijuana--Hawaii

St Marianne Cope

State Budget Solutions Hawaii

State Policy Network

Statehood for Guam

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Harriet Tubman Agenda

The Long War Journal

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

Truth About Trade & Technology - Hawaii

UCC Truths

Union Members Know Your Rights

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

Valor in the Pacific

VAREP Honolulu

Waagey.org

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii

Yes2TMT