I recently asked on the blog poll question- given the economy, should cost/expense be a defense. The answer was overwhelmingly no. And I believe that this is consistent with Supreme Court precedent.
However, some of our astute readers suggested that maybe the economy is coming in the back door. We have posted here before, for example, that the hearing officers who hear due process hearings in California have been forced to take days off without pay. Apparently they are not alone, teachers in Hawaii, including special ed teachers, have been forced to take 17 furlough Fridays throughout the school year. The federal trial court has rejected two challenges to the new policy as an alleged violation of IDEA. ND v. State of Hawaii, Department of Educ 53 IDELR 186 (D. Haw. 10/21/9) and DK & AK by Kellet v. State of Hawaii, Department of Educ 53 IDELR 187 (D. Haw. 10/22/9).
On top of that, I just came across an article on KHON2.com explaining how the special ed teachers are trying to make up the time. It was interesting that the Hawaii state superintendent also seems to indicate that outside contracts will be substantially limited. I'm going to go out on the limb once again and predict that this statement will lead to lots of hearings and lawsuits.
What is the relationship between appropriate education for kids with disabilities and the recession? What do you think? Are the back door effects of the recession serious?